Flint, MI— The Flint Community Schools Board of Education has delayed approving a strategic plan for the second time , saying they felt “left out” of the planning process.

During a special meeting Feb. 23, the board voted not to approve the district administration’s proposed plan until two conditions are met. First, they want a strategic plan workshop with the Michigan Association of School Boards. They also want to hold a financial workshop to discuss the district’s deficit elimination plan.

The motion, proposed by Treasurer Laura MacIntyre passed 4-1 with Trustee Allen Gilbert as the sole nay vote. President Danielle Green was absent. 

Board members requested the special meeting Feb.16, saying they did not have ample information to approve the plan at that time. Not much changed by Feb. 23. 

The board suspended Robert’s Rules of Order to have open dialogue, Vice President Joyce-Ellis McNeal said. All those present agreed they’d been excluded from conversations about the plan.

“I think the issue that we’re having with this strategic plan is this board has voted on things to try and help shape this district in the way we like to see it going, and it’s clear we’re being blown off,” Trustee Carol McIntosh said. 

Superintendent Kevelin Jones told board members a strategic plan is a working document, a “dream big” vision of what the district wants to achieve in the future. 

Flint residents, teachers, staff, and district partners, like the Crim Fitness Foundation, collaborated to develop the plan, Jones said.

But board members said they took issue with naming specific organizations to be part of the district’s future. 

“I’m not speaking for against Crim right now, what I’m simply asking and saying is why is Crim involved?” Assistant Secretary/Treasurer Chris Del Morone said. “Is there another organization? Can we do it in-house, instead of putting on Crim? I feel like this commits us to Crim.” 

Jones said a strategic plan is not a contract and the board has the power to approve or deny contracts with partners as they see fit. 

Board members also agreed the plan did not have enough financial details in terms of how the district will fund new buildings. Jones said these specifics are outside the scope of what a strategic plan is meant to do, but that those conversations are happening. 

The MASB reviewed the strategic plan and suggested the board approve it as it, Jones said. However, board members said they want an additional workshop. A separate workshop will also be held concerning financials and the district’s deficit elimination plan. Details have yet to be released. 

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...