MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. - Increased energy, health care and retirement costs, coupled with declining enrollment and uncertain state funding, have pushed a number of public school districts into the red, according to The Detroit News. School officials are responding by laying off teachers, consolidating schools and reducing transportation services as a way to balance budgets, the article said.

"It's like a volcano has erupted, and we're just trying to keep ahead of the lava flow," Madison District Public Schools Superintendent Paul Rogers told The News. "But this is a man- made disaster, and it's ruining lives."

Several Metro Detroit districts are currently in a deficit position, according to The News. Pontiac faces a $10 million deficit in its $96 million budget; Howell projects a $3 million deficit in its $68 million budget; and Dearborn expects a $10.5 million deficit in its $180 million budget, the News reported.

SOURCE:
The Detroit News, "Deep cutbacks test Metro Detroit schools," Jan. 5, 2009

FURTHER READING:
Michigan Education Report, "Detroit not the only school district seeing red," June 30, 2008

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