DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The state-appointed emergency manager of the Detroit Public Schools district says layoffs may be needed to help close a deficit of about $170 million.

Darnell Earley told The Detroit News, however, that he doesn’t expect job cuts to include teachers. He said the district is working to boost its educational competitiveness and offer an academically challenging environment.

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“I’m still in the process of analyzing our current situation,” Earley told the newspaper. “However, my goal is to strengthen the district’s financial position as much as possible before the end of the year in order to focus as many resources as possible in our classrooms.”

District spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said the district will follow the processes set out in the district’s individual collective bargaining agreements relating to notification of any layoffs.

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Steve Conn, the newly elected president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers union, said he expects the worst, adding that the emergency manager will “continue the destruction of public education.”

Earley recently replaced Jack Martin as emergency manager. The district has been under emergency management since 2009.

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