DETROIT (AP) — A commission on Monday released the 47,000-student Detroit Public Schools from more than a decade of state financial oversight, releasing full control of the district’s finances to the city’s elected school board.
The Detroit Financial Review Commission voted approved the district’s waiver in a public meeting. The last time the district was fully in charge was in 2009, before a series of state-appointed emergency managers were installed with a directive to fix a district neck-deep in red ink whose students routinely scored at or near the bottom on standardized tests.
Michigan deemed Detroit schools to be high-risk after the federal government in 2008 raised questions about $53 million in spending.
In recent years, control slowly was returned to the school board and district superintendent.
In 2013, the state Education Department dropped its “high-risk status” for the district and eased some financial oversight which gave the district more discretion over its spending, and the state no longer had to approve its improvement plan.
Enrollment in Detroit has dropped by more than 100,000 since 1993 when it served about 183,000 students. The plummeting enrollment meant a loss of millions of dollars in state per-pupil funding and mirrored the city’s massive population decline.
Detroit had about one million people in 1990. Now that number is about 680,000. The city lost about a quarter-million people between 2000 and 2010.
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