Schoolhouse Beat

Pontiac (Mich.) district calls for massive staff cuts to eliminate budget deficit

The Pontiac (Mich.) School District is pledging to make massive reductions in staff and use $6 million from an insurance settlement and $1 million in future real estate sales to balance its books in the next six years, according to a new deficit reduction plan. The Detroit News says that State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan has several concerns about the plan, which takes six years rather than the standard five the state gives school districts to pay down debt. Pontiac's deficit is $37.7 million. Because the new plan is largely dependent on staff reductions and using money that is not in hand, the state has set several contingencies — mainly that if the planned cuts and cash infusions do not occur, the district must make more reductions to stay on schedule. Pontiac devised the new plan after the state withheld the district's aid payments because it wasn't making sufficient progress on eliminating its deficit. From The Detroit News:

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