DETROIT (AP) – A new report shows that the budget deficit for the Detroit Public Schools district is smaller than originally projected, officials announced Tuesday.
The state’s largest public school district said that officials expected a deficit of about $70 million during the 2014-15 fiscal year, but an audit filed Nov. 2 with the state puts it at $46.5 million.READ MORE: Consumer Alert: How To Avoid Fake N95, KN95 Masks
“Although we must remain focused on the full implementation of the transformation we began earlier this year, the results of the audit show that DPS is making strides to address the serious financial challenges that have been plaguing it for decades,” Darnell Earley, the state-appointed emergency manager for the district, said in a statement.
The school district has been under state oversight since 2009. Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed changes to the district, including splitting it in two, to help deal with its financial problems. And the state treasurer warned last month that the district could be insolvent by spring if the Legislature doesn’t act to cover millions in debt.
Cuts to non-classroom spending, modifications to employee health care benefits and other restructuring efforts are partly credited to the deficit decrease. The district noted, however, that it still faces a legacy debt liability of about $515 million.READ MORE: Flint Public Schools Staying Virtual Indefinitely Due To Large Amount Of Positive COVID-19 Cases
“Our team is working diligently every day to become a solvent school system, which will allow local control to be restored,” Earley said.
The district also said it is losing fewer students than it has in previous years. Public schools receive state funding for each student enrolled. Preliminary figures show 46,325 students enrolled this fall, about 30 more students than budgeted for the 2015-16 fiscal year.
For the 2014-15 fiscal year, the district lost 2.7 percent of its student population. In previous years, the district had been reporting declines in enrollment of 10 to 11 percent.MORE NEWS: State Fears Confusion After Michigan Restaurant Wins In Dining Ban Case
Officials plan to present the audit results Thursday to the Detroit Board of Education.© Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.