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Michael Patrick Shiels
WSJM-FM 94.9

Posted: Monday, 23 June 2014 3:20PM

Governor Snyder Appoints Financial Review Team For Benton Harbor Schools

A financial review team is set to examine the finances of the Benton Harbor Area Schools. Governor Snyder appointed the team Monday after the Local Emergency Financial Assistance Loan Board determined "probable financial stress" exists in the district. Treasury Department spokesman Terry Stanton says the review team will begin meeting soon, likely as early as next week.


This is step two towards the possibility of four options to solve the problem, which include either the district having an emergency manager or filing bankruptcy. The Department of Education notes that the district's deficit grew from $3 million at the end of the 2007 school year to a projected $14.7 million on June 30 of this year. Stanton says a public meeting will be held soon, though no date has been set.


The Education Department also found the deficit balance for BHAS as a percentage of general fund revenues is negative 46%, far exceeding the parameter of negative 15% to indicate concern.

The review team will consist of:
Michael Krouse, administrator, State Finance Division within the Department of Treasury
Kyle Guerrant, deputy Superintendent, Michigan Department of Education
Mike Gilliland, director, Office of Financial Services within the Department of Technology, Management and Budget
Bret Witkowski, Berrien County Treasurer
Max Chiddister, president, Chiddister and Associates
Frederick Headen, legal advisor for the Michigan Department of Treasury


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