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Flint names interim school superintendent

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

A long-time district administrator has been picked to be the interim Flint schools superintendent.

Larry Watkins likes to say he’s worked for the Flint school district since he was 14, when he was a high school locker room attendant.  He retired from the district in August, after a long career as an administrator.

Last night, the school board hired him back, on an interim basis, to fill the void left by last month’s retirement of Flint’s former superintendent.

Watkins takes control of a school district running a multi-million dollar budget.   He told the board he wants to balance the district’s budget.

“I’ll use one of the expressions from the students…we can’t pretend that our budget is balanced.  We have to balance a budget,” Watkins told the board, “I don’t want us to go into bankruptcy. And I don’t want a financial manager to come in. I want the people that were elected by the citizens of Flint to run this school district.”

In addition to its budget problems, the Flint school district is struggling with declining enrollment and aging facilities.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Public since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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