Detroit district turmoil continues

Oct. 13, 2008
Board reprimands superintendent; bus company says it hasn't been paid

Days after the governor appointed a team to investigate the Detroit Public Schools' finances, there are signs that conditions are deteriorating from the school grounds to the boardroom. Among them: The school board voted to reprimand Superintendent Connie Calloway for publicly berating a board member; a board member called the chief financial officer a liar after the state Treasury Department rejected the district's financial reports this week; and Safeway Transportation, which provides buses for special-education students and athletes, says it may have to shut down because the district owes it $4 million for services.
To read The Detroit Free Press article, click here.

EARLIER: Michigan Gov. Jennifer Granholm has appointed a special team to review the finances of the Detroit Public School District over the next 30 days. The team includes State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan. His request for intervention in the district followed months of revelations about the district's precarious finances.The district went from declaring a fund surplus in the spring to announcing a projected $408 million shortfall by June. The school board followed up with a bruising budget process, in which it agreed to cut $522 million over the next two years, including hundreds of layoffs. To read The Detroit News article, click here.

EARLIER: Layoff notices are expected to go out on to more than 140 Detroit school district bus attendants who assist special-education students. They could represent the first wave of hundreds of school employees laid off this school year because of the financial crisis that is gripping the district. On June 30, the school board adopted a 2-year budget plan that calls for laying off about 818 teachers and 900 other workers, in addition to eliminating 142 vacant administrative jobs and cutting $81 million in non-salary spending.
To read The Detroit Free Press article, click here.

FROM SEPTEMBER 2008: Detroit Public Schools' financial crisis has snowballed so much that the district could soon see the state of Michigan appoint a financial manager to take over its budget. State schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan notified Gov. Jennifer Granholm that the Detroit district has a "serious financial problem." Glanagan's letter begins a process that could prompt an agreement between the state and the district to improve functions, or the appointment of a financial manager. District officials have projected a two-year $400-million deficit.

To read The Detroit Free Press article, click here.

To read The Detroit News article, click here.

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