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Michigan Sees Reduction In Schools In Financial Peril

Michigan Department of Education
State of Michigan

There are fewer school districts in severe financial peril, according to a quarterly report compiled by the Michigan Department of Education.

Last year, there were 41 school districts and charter schools with deficits.  That number is down to 27 this year.  And Michigan Superintendent of Public Instruction Brian Whiston says that number could be down to 18 districts by June.

Whiston says the improving economy is helping with more revenue and a recently adopted “early warning” law is helping to flag districts before they’re too deep in trouble.

“The legislation’s working,” he said.  “There’s a spotlight on these districts…get these districts before they’re into deficit.  And it’s working.  Either they’re coming off or they have increasing fund balances.”

Whiston no new school districts appear headed toward emergency management, although some are struggling with large deficits.  Highland Park is the only Michigan district currently under emergency management. 

Below is a map of schools in deficit (Credit: Melissa Mason, WDET)

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—Cheyna Roth is a reporter for the Michigan Public Radio network.  Contact WEMU News at734.487.3363 or email us at studio@wemu.org

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