The Highland Park School District is fighting to keep an Emergency Manager from taking over

Angry parents showed up at their special meeting

HIGHLAND PARK, MIch. (WXYZ) - An Emergency Manager may be taking over another school district in the Detroit area after a state review team handed the recommendation to the Governor about Highland Park Schools.

School board members called a special meeting Thursday night in an effort to change the governor's mind if he chooses to appoint an Emergency Manager.  Parents and Community members are furious about the financial situation.

"I'm sick of it.  I'm tired of it," said Michelle Collier.  Collier is so sick and tired of the district's money problems that the Highland Park mother already transferred one child to Detroit Public Schools.

"I'm ready for the financial manager to either come in and turn this around so our kids can have a school to go to, or let us know where we stand and let us move the kids to Detroit Public Schools and let them make the money from us," said Collier.

Collier has six other children in the Highland Park Schools and she said that the district's finances are just as bad as the state believes them to be.

"The heat was 20 degrees in the building.  They told us to tell our kids to wear their coats and long sleeve shirts when they are sitting on the board with furs and minks on," said Collier.

Collier spoke out during the board meeting Thursday night.  The Highland Park School Board voted to request a hearing with Governor Rick Snyder to try and change his mind about appointing an Emergency Manager to take charge of the district if he chooses to follow the recommendation made by a state review team this week.

"I feel that we did not do what the state asked us.  And I have to, I must go there because we did not do," said Debra Humphrey, Highland Park School Board Member.

The Superintendent is in still limbo about having an emergency manager.

"I don't know right now.  We need to make sure that we make all the concessions that we have, and offer them to the State Superintendent Flanagan," said Edith Hightower, Superintendent of Highland Park Schools.

Superintendent Hightower said the board has a plan to get the district back in the black.  Some parents want to give the board a second chance to turn things around.

"No, I don't want to see the state come in.  We're a small community and we can take care of our own and we can work together," said Runae Ford.  Her son graduated from the district last year.

But others like Michelle Collier said the board is out of chances and the quality of her children's education is at stake.

"They can't save us because if they could, we wouldn't be here now," said Collier.

The Governor has ten days to decide whether or not he wants to appoint an Emergency Manger to take command of the Highland Park School District.  This would be the second district in the state to have an Emergency Manager.  Detroit Public Schools was the first district in the state.

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