MUSKEGON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WZZM) -- Instead of paying a for-profit company hundreds of thousands of dollars to run the Muskegon Heights schools, the board has a plan to spend more of that money educating children.

When an emergency manager took of over the deeply-in-debt Muskegon Heights district two years ago, school leaders agreed to pay a company called Mosaica a $1 million a year to operate the schools.

That didn't work out.

The schools cancelled the contract with the company, and moving forward, leaders think they've found a cheaper, better solution, involving three critical points.

School leaders aren't sharing all of the details yet, but it's clear that the schools will be open next year -- which, for many, is the most important part.

Administrators do say their three-part model involves one entity handling staffing, one handling finances, and the continued participation of Superintendent Alena Zachary-Ross. Leaders say it's all cheaper than hiring another management company to run everything.

Advance Educational Services, Inc., is to handle the staffing. The Muskegon Area Intermediate School District will be responsible for finances.

The superintendent says leaders want their new staffing company to rehire most of the current teachers and staff, but they will have to re-apply for their jobs. That process should start this week.

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