School & District Management

Financial Manager to Run Detroit Schools Another Year

By Dakarai I. Aarons — October 29, 2009 1 min read
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Michigan Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm appeared this morning with Robert C. Bobb at a Detroit high school, where he announced he would stay another year as the emergency financial manager for Detroit’s public schools.

Bobb’s “zero-tolerance approach is exactly what the doctor ordered,” the governor said.

Bobb, who was appointed to the job by Granholm for a yearlong term in March, had indicated in recent weeks he would be willing to stay to keep working on eliminating the district’s $259 million deficit.

Since taking the reins in March, he has closed schools, fired scores of employees to reduce bureaucracy, and gone toe-to-toe with the school board and teachers’ union. He launched a $500,000 campaign to stem the tide of declining enrollment and has worked with veteran school administrator Barbara Byrd-Bennett to launch a turnaround strategy for the district’s high schools.

Much more work remains. Bobb and Mayor Dave Bing have teamed up to promote a $500.5 million bond issue on next week’s ballot to wary voters while Bobb holds hearings under power granted to him in state law to examine why the district in some cases paid seven times more than it should have for real estate deals under the $1.5 billion bond voters approved in 1994.

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A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.