Saginaw Public Schools recall, Michigan (2014)

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An effort to recall three members of the Saginaw Board of Education in Michigan was initiated on February 14, 2014. Organizers filed petitions with the Saginaw County Clerk, but two attempts at recall language were deemed unclear by the county's election commission.[1][2] The targeted members include Delena Spates-Allen, Alexis Thomas and Glenda Richardson-Vaughn.[3]

As of August 15, 2014, no new recall petitions had been filed.[4] A letter submitted to the board and Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in March 2015, however, claimed that a state takeover of the district would be better than leaving the current board in place and that a group was "working diligently to recall members of the board."[5]

Recall supporter arguments

Recall organizer Margie Dallas sought to remove Spates-Allen, Thomas and Richardson-Vaughn due to concerns over long-term financial viability and the board's relationship with superintendent Carlton Jenkins. Dallas was worried that proposed school closures would lead to poor academic performance and overcrowding. The district also faced a $6.1 million deficit that must be resolved to avoid cancellation of state aid.[1] Dallas also argued in her petition that the board is not following district policy by refusing to evaluate the superintendent.[6] The board gave Jenkins an evaluation during a March 20 meeting and extended his contract through the 2016-2017 school year.[2]

Delena Spates-Allen's response

Spates-Allen argued that the Board of Education could not evaluate the superintendent without an effective evaluation process. The board had not selected among three possible methods of evaluation as of January 2013. Spates-Allen noted that the board had until April to evaluate the superintendent.[7]

Path to the ballot

See also: Laws governing recall in Michigan

Recall organizers submitted recall petitions to the Saginaw County Clerk. The initial ballot language was rejected by a three-person election commission due to lack of clarity. Dallas submitted new ballot language, but the board rejected the revised petition as unclear during a March 31, 2014, meeting.[2] As of August 15, 2014, no new recall petitions had been filed.[4]

If petition language had been approved, organizers would have needed to collect signatures equaling 25 percent of all votes in the district during the previous gubernatorial election. The Saginaw City Clerk and the Saginaw County Clerk would have reviewed the signatures before approving a recall election.[8]

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