The forum in Benzie also included discussion about a set of proposed laws that would expand and codify the state’s ability to take control of underachieving local districts.
The bills would allow the Education Achievement Authority to take over the state’s bottom five percent of district’s based on academic performances.
Lindsey Smith, a Michigan Public Radio reporter, discussed Muskegon Heights Public Schools, where a state-appointed emergency manager took over last year.
The emergency manager, Donald Weatherspoon, turned the entire district into a charter school.
Mike Hill, Traverse Bay Area Intermediate School District superintendent, said the EAA proposal, as it stands, won’t impact any TBAISD districts.
But Lori Hill, a Benzie County Central Schools Board of Education member who attended the forum, said many audience members were struck by the situation in Muskegon Heights.
“People don’t really think it’s going to happen here, but at the same time they find it disturbing that it can happen.” Lori Hill said. “The door’s been open and the possibility exists.”