Detroit has closed more than 100 schools since 2004, yet still has more than 50,000 excess seats throughout the system.
Robert C. Bobb, the emergency manager appointed last year by Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm to take control of the schools, proposed the closings, which would eliminate as many as 2,100 jobs, in the face of a deficit expected to peak at $316.6 million and a dwindling student population
This week, Mr. Bobb announced a sweeping academic plan that calls for smaller class sizes, a 98 percent graduation rate and significant improvement in students’ yearly progress. “We have no more time to waste,” Mr. Bobb wrote in the plan
Fast forward not even a year later.
From The Detroit News:
State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that balances the district's books by closing half of its schools, swelling high school class sizes to 60 students and consolidating operations.
I think he means unions.
Bobb, appointed emergency financial manager in March 2009, filed his deficit elimination plan with the state in January, saying it would wipe out the district's $327 million deficit by 2014. On Feb. 9, he told state lawmakers the plan is the only way DPS "can cut its way out" of its legacy deficit.
At the same time, Bobb said he doesn't believe the proposal is viable because it would drive more students away, exacerbating the district's financial emergency. But on Friday, Bobb confirmed he is working to implement the plan that will shrink the district to 72 schools for a projected 58,570 students in 2014.
"I believe the district can work its way out of these challenges," Bobb said. "It will take some time. I am firm believer we have to continue to make the deep cuts, and they are going to be painful. In the long run, the district will be stronger. There can be no retreat."
Bobb said he continues to work on an alternative plan — one similar to a General Motors-style restructuring — but has yet to release details or announce a sponsor for such a bill.
"Whatever comes out of the transition plan and whatever my new thinking is will be a part of that," he said.
Revenue is down dramatically, enrollment losses average 8,000 students a year and pension and health care costs weigh on the district.
And the bad news continues. Among DPS' fiscal challenges: An expected loss of $273.87 in its per-pupil foundation grant of $7,660. The loss is the result of a projected 83 percent property tax collection rate in Detroit for fiscal 2011. Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a $470 per-pupil cut for all Michigan districts.
A general fund budget strapped with annual fixed costs such as $52.6 million in pension costs, $44.6 million for health care, $26.8 million in utilities, $6.6 million in public safety and $3.5 million in unemployment. Continuing enrollment declines. DPS has lost 83,336 students in the last decade, leading to a loss in state aid of more than $573 million.
The district's deficit grew by $100 million in the last year — to $327 million — forcing it to deepen its reliance on short- and long-term borrowing, which costs DPS $55 million a year in principal and interest payments
Increased expenses included $23.6 million for the recall of employees scheduled to be laid off, $72.2 million in unrealized labor savings and $9.1 million in unrealized savings when some school closures were canceled.
All told, the unexpected revenue losses and cost increases led to a deficit for fiscal 2010 of $113 million,
Bobb was hired in March 2009 by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm
Bobb's last day with DPS is June 30
From The Detroit News: http://detnews.com/a...s#ixzz1Ef60onrq
Edited by pstall, 22 February 2011 - 12:23 AM.