BHAS sets special board meeting for today

BENTON HARBOR — The composition of a joint advisory committee between the state and the Benton Harbor school district is expected to be decided at a special school board meeting today.

State and school board trustees have been at odds since May 24, when state officials proposed closing Benton Harbor High School at the end of the 2019-20 school year to help reduce the district's high debt and improve chronically low student achievement on standardized tests.

After trustees rejected every proposal that would possibly close the high school, the state in August proposed forming the committee, which will be charged with developing a sustainable operating plan within six months. School board trustees and state officials would both have to approve the committee’s plan for it to be implemented.

In September, trustees approved the concept of creating a committee, but who will be on it still had to be worked out. For example, some trustees want two of their members on the committee, while the state wants only one.

At today's meeting, trustees will also interview four people who applied to fill the board seat that was left vacant when then-President Stephen Mitchell died Sept. 17.

Being interviewed are Elnora Gavin, Nickolas Marcus Magee, Shaquille Turner and Darwin Watson.

The meeting will be at 5 p.m. in the Benton Harbor High School Library.

Contact:, 932-0361, Twitter: @HPWrege

Editors Note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of Nickolas Magee's name.