Fresh on the heels of an announcement of the resignation of three long-time board members, beleaguered Muskegon Heights Public School District has announced the layoffs of nearly 160 employees.
According to the school district, 158 staff members were handed letters as they left work Wednesday, notifying them of layoffs, effective June 8. The letter cited "urgent financial circumstances surrounding the district."
Dr. Don Weatherspoon, emergency manager for the school district, said in the letters that the action is necessary to "accomplish the reorganization of the district." Earlier Wednesday, it was announced that three board members had resigned as Weatherspoon assumed command of the district.
Weatherspoon was appointed emergency manager of the district back in March by Gov. Rick Snyder, after the district had requested help from the state in the face of the financial crisis.
The district says they plan to have representatives from Michigan Works! on hand May 18 to help employees file for unemployment benefits.
As in the earlier notice Wednesday, the district again cited rising expenses, declining enrollment and a deficit of nearly $12 million as motivation behind the decisions made.