The historic enrollment decline in the Detroit public schools will continue to worsen, leaving the district with about 13,000 fewer students and 28 fewer schools by 2016, while financial cuts could eliminate the deficit by then, according to a revised deficit elimination plan released Jan. 23 to the Detroit Free Press.
In a letter to employees last week, Roy Roberts, the state-appointed emergency financial manager, said the district has “accelerated the timeline for its return to complete fiscal stability.” But he said he has not determined yet which of the nearly 100 buildings will close.
Mr. Roberts had indicated earlier that the number of schools to be closed could potentially be fewer than that number. Mr. Roberts was appointed in 2011 and announced he planned to eliminate the deficit within five years. The revised deficit-elimination plan approved Jan. 17 by the Michigan department of education would move the district from a $76 million deficit as of last July 1, 2012, to a surplus of $2.6 million by June 30, 2016.
The plan projects enrollment will be 38,448 students, a decline of 12,896. The reduction in students will mean lesser funding—from $750 million this year to $569 million in 2016—and result in cutting 470 support-services positions and 542 teaching positions between 2014 and 2016.
A version of this article appeared in the January 30, 2013 edition of Education Week as Detroit to Shut Down Dozens More Schools