August 11, 2014 at 11:38 pm

Detroit Public Schools faces Friday deadline to revise deficit-cutting plan

Detroit — Officials with Detroit Public Schools have until Friday to submit an updated deficit elimination plan to state officials that explains how the district will wipe out $127 million in debt.

In particular, the district must explain to the Michigan Department of Education how it will make up $18.5 million in revenue it anticipated receiving annually from 2016 to 2019 if a countywide revenue enhancement millage had been approved by Wayne County voters on Aug. 5. Voters rejected the measure.

DPS, which is under state control via emergency manager, had included the revenue from the ballot measure in the district’s budget forecast and deficit elimination plan before the election.

“The district is working on a revised draft of the deficit elimination plan within the deadline specified,” district spokesman Steve Wasko said Monday.

The district was slated to receive $18.5 million for every full year the millage was to be collected. A smaller amount was included in the 2014-15 budget since the tax would not have been collected until this December, Wasko said.

On July 25, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan rejected DPS’s latest amended deficit elimination plan, ordering the district to provide “realistic projections” of its fall 2014 pupil count, to incorporate a “legitimate” education plan and total elimination of its debt.

Flanagan said DPS Emergency Manager Jack Martin must revise the 2014-15 budget and and post it on the district’s website within 15 days.
Shawn D. Lewis contributed.