ERIC Number: EJ864120
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Aug-12
Reference Count: N/A
Decline and Fall: Crisis Financial Manager Tries to Fix Detroit Schools' Budget
Aarons, Dakarai I.
Education Week, v28 n37 p24-27 Aug 2009
Robert C. Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager of the Detroit public school system, may have the biggest "turnaround" job in the nation. The district, with an annual budget of $1.2 billion, has a deficit projected to be $259 million and growing. Over the past 10 years, about half of the district's students have left, leaving enrollment below 100,000 pupils for the first time since World War I. In the meantime, the financial manager, whose appointment runs through February, is trying to address the result of seven years of deficit spending. The district had a $103.6 million budget surplus in 2002, but failed to aggressively reduce staffing or close largely vacant schools as its enrollment dropped. Since taking the helm, the financial manager has moved swiftly to root out problems and to get the district into working order. He has scheduled 29 schools to close this fall, announced the restructuring of another 40 schools that have failed to make adequate academic progress under the federal No Child Left Behind Act, and hired a former FBI special agent to serve as the district's inspector general to recommend potential fraud cases for prosecution. More than half the district's top executive positions have been eliminated, and more than 1,700 employees have received layoff notices as the financial manager works to right-size the district.
Descriptors: Educational Finance, Urban Schools, Financial Exigency, Crisis Management, Administrators, Money Management, Budgeting, Retrenchment, Educational Improvement
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan