Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager for Detroit’s public schools, has received state approval for a deficit-elimination plan that would increase class sizes and result in the closure of about 70 schools.
The plan would eliminate a $327 million deficit, as required by the state, but is not the plan desired by the district, spokesman Steve Wasko said.
Under Mr. Bobb’s plan, 40 schools would be closed in the 2012 fiscal year, and 30 would be shuttered the following year. That follows the closing of about 60 schools in the past two years because of declining student enrollment and efforts to cut building-maintenance costs.
The plan also warns that high schools could see 60 students per class in 2014, though Mr. Bobb has said he hopes other savings will prevent that from happening.
Detroits money problems have been compounded by lower per-pupil funding from the state due to fewer students—enrollment is expected to drop from about 74,000 students now to fewer than 60,000 in the 2014 school year—and poor management of the districts finances.
A version of this article appeared in the March 02, 2011 edition of Education Week as State Approves Closing 70 Schools in Detroit