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Pontiac school district shaves deficit to $39.1M

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Pontiac — The Pontiac Public School District has reduced its $51.7 million deficit by $12.6 million, two years ahead of schedule, district officials say.

The district created a state-approved finance and operating plan last year.

The audited financial report for fiscal year 2013-14 was presented by Pontiac officials to the Pontiac Schools Board of Education Monday night.

“The first year of our consent agreement and deficit elimination plan has been profound,” Superintendent Kelley Williams said in a statement. “We could not have had such remarkable success without the significant wage and benefit concessions by employees, the partnership with the state Treasurer’s office and the supporting work of Oakland Schools ISD.”

Pontiac Schools’ deficit had been $37.6 million in the 2012 fiscal year.

The district says it also has nearly stabilized enrollment. The number of students in Pontiac schools fell 4 percent this fall, compared with the nearly 7 percent the district anticipated. Between 2011-12 and 2012-13, the district lost 13 percent of its enrollment.

According to state data, the district had 4,565 students last year. A decade ago, Pontiac had more than 10,000 students.

As part of the consent agreement signed between the state and Pontiac schools last year, the district must continue to work on steps to improve student achievement and increase enrollment.

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