2 Kalamazoo schools near deal to avoid state closure

LEFT: Washington Writers’ Academy RIGHT: Woodward School for Technology and Research (April 27, 2017)

KALAMAZOO, Mich. (WOOD) — Kalamazoo Public Schools is working on an agreement with the Michigan Department of Education to keep two of its elementary schools open.

A district spokesman says 24 Hour News 8 it has reached a deal with the state, but the school board must still approve it. Board members are expected to discuss the agreement during their meeting Thursday night.

In January, Washington Writers’ Academy and Woodward School for Technology and Research made it onto the School Reform Office’s list of 38 failing public schools subject to closure. The schools listed have been in the bottom 5 percent in terms of test scores for three years in a row.

>>PDF: Lowest achieving Michigan schools

The law allows for state-ordered closures if chronically underperforming schools have not improved despite receiving other forms of intervention.

However in February, the school district and some parents filed a lawsuit against the state, saying it did not have the right to close down local schools.

The MDE said it began discussions for a new partnership with 10 of the state’s lowest performing schools in March.

Tuesday, Muskegon Heights Academy announced it had reached a partnership agreement with the state to avoid a shutdown.