MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. – The new emergency manager for Muskegon Heights Public Schools said the district cannot merge with another due to its long-term overspending crisis, according to MLive. The district spent about $8.5 million more than it took in last year.

“There is so much red ink, you can’t cut your way out of it,” Emergency Manager Donald Weatherspoon told a group of about 50 residents and district staffers, MLive reported. The meeting was organized by the Muskegon Heights teachers union.

Weatherspoon said it is not “politically or financially feasible” to think Muskegon Heights’ debt would be assumed by another district.

The Muskegon Heights school board requested an emergency manager be appointed, which Gov. Rick Snyder did in April, MLive reported.

“You have got to portray hope for the community, hope for these kids, and have a vision basically for the rebirth of this school district,” Weatherspoon told attendees, according to MLive. “That’s where we are.”

SOURCE: MLive, “Emergency manager: ‘Dramatic changes’ ahead for Muskegon Heights schools,” May 14, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Financial Emergency Declared in Muskegon Heights," April 17, 2012