State OKs DPS Plan to Close Half Its Schools

LANSING, Mich. — State officials have put their weight behind a Detroit Public Schools plan to close half its schools and consolidate some operations with other entities in order to address a $327 million deficit, The Detroit News reported.

Robert Bobb, the district’s emergency financial manager, is working on a list of recommended school closures, and employee layoff discussions will begin this spring, according to The News.

Bobb drafted the deficit reduction plan, which results in a district of 72 schools with an estimated 58,570 students as of 2014. Enrollment has declined by more than 50,000 students in the past decade, The News reported.

Bobb also will meet with city officials and the intermediate school district on sharing transportation, public safety and finance operations, among other services, The News reported.

The district may not declare bankruptcy during the remainder of Bobb’s tenure, which ends June 30, a letter from state Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan to the district said, according to The News.

The Detroit News, “Michigan orders DPS to make huge cuts,” Feb. 21, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Motor City Finance: Then and Now,” Jan. 11, 2011