No bids yet to run Muskegon Heights schools

MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WOOD) — Less than a week from the deadline to submit applications, no companies have yet applied to run the Muskegon Heights school district.

Mosaica Education Inc., has been the educational service provider for the district since 2012, when it created the Muskegon Heights Public School Academy System. Mosaica has decided to leave the district June 30, three years before its contract is up.

In 2012, two companies bid to run the district: Mosaica and The Leona Group. Leona began running the beleaguered Highland Park school district in 2012 and is still operating it.

Despite the lack of applications, Emergency Manager Greg Weatherspoon said Monday he is confident that the school district will see some by the May 23 deadline.

“We don’t have any concerns,” Weatherspoon said. “In fact, we are elated we are going to have more than we had last time, without a doubt.”

Weatherspoon said three companies have toured district facilities since the request for bids was made public.

Since 2012, the district has lost hundreds of students.

But hundreds of thousands of dollars have been put into building repairs. Weatherspoon said he is sure at least several hundred thousand dollars more that will need to be put into facilities.

Michigan’s deadline to get the district’s buildings up to code is June 30, the day before a new service provider would take the reins.

24 Hour News 8 asked how that will work, since Mosaica will not be paying for any more building improvements.

“The new educational service provider will inherit some of that cost,” said Weatherspoon. “We don’t have any type of sinking fund or any stash of cash, so we are definitely going to have to work that out creatively.”

Weatherspoon said creatively means the district is trying to do things like gain a deadline extension from the state.

When and if the applications are submitted, Weatherspoon said they will then be sent to a nine-member committee. After that, he said interviews will be done, if necessary. He said they’re hoping for a seamless transition, with a new service provider in place by July 1.

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