HIGHLAND PARK (WWJ/AP) – The state-appointed emergency manager for Highland Park’s public schools has revoked diplomas awarded last year to 18 students.

MLive.com reported Friday that a review of transcripts determined the students were given credit for failed classes or didn’t have enough credit hours to graduate.

Emergency manager Donald Weatherspoon said the students in the academically and financially struggling Detroit area district were “misled” by school officials.

“It was nothing the child did,” Weatherspoon MLive. “The child was misled.”

Weatherspoon also is manager of Muskegon Heights Public Schools in West Michigan.

He said he is seeking funding for a plan to allow students who graduated from Muskegon Heights High School as long as six years ago to receive free online learning.

Weatherspoon said that, beginning  in 2006, the district began to “decline very rapidly” — and budget deficits caused officials to “just start cutting out stuff.”

He said he believes the students received an inadequate education.  “It slipped into chaos,” Weatherspoon said.

Six Michigan cities and three school districts have emergency managers. Detroit became the latest when turnaround specialist Kevyn Orr started work last month.

(TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)


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