DETROIT - Detroit school board members Monday fired Superintendent Connie Calloway, placing her on paid administrative leave in a 7-4 vote, according to The Detroit News. Calloway called the decision unjust and said the board blamed her for the district's financial problems, The News reported.

A coalition of area leaders spoke or signed a joint letter in support of Calloway, according to The News, among them the heads of the Skillman Foundation, Wayne Regional Educational Service Agency, the United Way for Southeastern Michigan and the Detroit Parent Network, but school board members said that Calloway failed to provide adequate leadership, did not assure fiscal integrity and was uncooperative and unprofessional, among other claims.

One major board complaint was that Calloway and her team originally reported a fund surplus for the current fiscal year, but later returned with a proposed budget indicating a $408 million deficit, The News said.

General Counsel Teresa Gueyser will serve as chief administrator while an interim superintendent is sought, The News reported.

Calloway can contest the termination within 15 days by requesting a hearing.

The Detroit News, "Calloway: Firing an 'unjust decision,'" Dec. 16, 2008

Michigan Education Digest, "State to take financial control of DPS," Dec. 9, 2008