Pontiac schools released from state financial oversight
After five years under state financial oversight, the Pontiac School District is free to operate independently.
The school district in Oakland County was released from oversight on Friday and will now manage all operations and finances independent from the state, state Treasurer Nick Khouri said in a statement.
“The goal has always been to get finances back on track to restore local control and this marks the accomplishment of that goal,” Gov. Rick Snyder said in a statement. “Pontiac is a vital part of Michigan’s strong comeback and the future of this district now looks much brighter.”
The Pontiac School District had been under state financial oversight since 2013, when it entered a consent agreement with the state that required a state emergency loan, consistently balanced budgets and a reliance on Oakland Schools, the intermediate school district, for information technology and business administration duties.
Prior to oversight, the school district’s general fund deficit increased from $24.5 million in 2011 to $37.7 million in 2012, the school was delinquent on roughly $2.7 million in retirement contributions that year, and the district’s fund balance was negative 52 percent, according to the state.
Because of late audits and never-implemented improvement plans, the state withheld school aid payments to the district in 2012 and 2013.
The five-year oversight program allowed the school district to increase its credit rating, pass audits and become “stable enough to sustain operations,” said Pontiac School District Superintendent Kelley Williams.
Though the school district’s financial oversight is lifted, it remains subject to its emergency loan agreement with the state.