GISD, Flint schools reach resolution over Genesee Area Skill Center dispute

GENESEE COUNTY — The Genesee Intermediate School District (GISD) and the Flint Community Schools have agreed to resolve the dispute regarding the Genesee Area Skill Center (GASC), which resulted in a lawsuit filed by the GISD against Flint Community Schools in July 2014. GISD alleged that Flint Community Schools spent $8.6 million intended for the GASC on the general operating costs of Flint Community Schools. Flint Community Schools denied that claim, and asserted the GASC fund balance was substantially overstated at the time the operations of the GASC were turned over to GISD in August 2013, due to internal accounting errors by Flint Community Schools.

Through this joint resolution, Flint Community Schools will pay GISD $2.25 million for the operation of the newly named and renovated Genesee Career Institute now managed and operated by GISD.

“The current administration and Boards of Education of the GISD and Flint Community Schools share the common goal of doing what is in the best interest of children in Flint Community Schools and across all of Genesee County,” said the parties in a joint statement.

“Given this goal, and in recognition of the financial situation in Flint Community Schools, it was agreed that this resolution was in the best interest of both parties and allows for a continued productive partnership between the GISD and Flint Community Schools moving forward.”

Dr. Lisa Hagel, Superintendent of the GISD, explained, “We are pleased to put this issue behind us and to work together to create a better future for students in Flint and Genesee County. There is no doubt that the challenges we face today can only be overcome by working together, and I believe coming to this resolution will help us toward that end.”

Bilal Tawwab, Superintendent of the City of Flint School District, noted, “By resolving this dispute we commit jointly to working toward the future, and allow Flint Community Schools to focus on its mission of providing excellent educational programs and initiatives for the children of Flint. The agreement strengthens our partnership with the GISD, which in turn helps us invest in our students and their opportunities for the future.”

The GISD, which has already invested over $12 million into the Genesee Career Institute, intends to invest the dollars from this resolution back into the countywide Career Technical Education facility to the benefit of students across Genesee County. “Our county is very fortunate to have a state of the art center offering relevant programs and preparation for students to be successful in their next steps after graduation,” said Dr. Hagel.

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