Detroit to Close Half Its Schools

Michigan approves plan to cut $327M deficit
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 22, 2011 9:06 AM CST
Detroit to Close Half Its Schools
Students wait for their ride after school at the Communication & Media Arts High School in Detroit, Thursday, June 10, 2010.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Michigan has approved a plan to close roughly half of Detroit’s public schools, pushing the average high-school class size in the struggling city to roughly 60 students, the Wall Street Journal reports. The plan is designed to eliminate the district’s $327 million deficit, but even its creator, district emergency financial manager Robert Bobb, thinks it’s a bad idea, since it could drive more students away, depriving the school of enrollment-based funds from the state.

“This is the route we’re forced to take under state law,” said one assistant superintendent. “However, we continue to look for longer-term plans so we can avoid this.” Bobb came on two years ago, and has cut aggressively since; without his measures, he estimates the district would face a $500 million deficit. (Read more Michigan stories.)

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