HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. (WWJ) – Many parents in Highland Park are hoping that this Monday marks a new beginning for their troubled school district. That’s when Certified Public Accountant Jack Martin begins his job as emergency financial manager for the struggling district.

“I plan to have, pretty much, an open door to parents so that they can voice their concerns, they can give me their suggestions, and I’ll be happy to look at anything that anybody has to offer that’s gonna help educate the kids,” Martin said.

Highland Park Schools are facing declining enrollment, and an $11.3 million deficit.

Some fought the idea of an emergency financial manager when it was first proposed, but Governor Rick Snyder intervened, saying the district faced the threat of closure without a manager. He wrote a letter to all parents in the district explaining the situation.

Highland Park schools currently face an $11.3 budget deficit while student enrollment continues to plummet, down 58 percent over the past five years.

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