We’ve Got Issues: Benzie officials could close elementary school

Mar 6, 2017

Platte River Elementary School in Honor
Credit Benzie County Central Schools

A school board in Benzie County will consider closing Platte River Elementary School later this month. The head of Benzie County Central Schools says the district needs to save money.

Superintendent Matt Olson made the recommendation last week. 

“The problem is we’re looking at pretty significant amounts of money that we would need to save,” Olson says. “We’ve got a pretty strong backlog of infrastructure needs and our fund balance has been dwindling over time.”

Olson says the district is losing students and facing tough financial times. 

According to state data, enrollment in Benzie County Central Schools has dropped by more than 25 percent in the past decade. State education funding is based partly on the number of students enrolled in schools. 

Olson says closing Platte River Elementary School could save the district around $300,000. 

The district is hosting a public meeting at Platte River Elementary School on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.