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More Michigan schools running deficits, record 55 with deficits

Sarah Alvarez
Michigan Radio

To add to the woes of public education in Michigan, six new school districts are running deficits.

Forty-nine was the record, now make it 55 school districts – from the Traverse Bay Area to Wayne County – with deficits.

More from MPRN's Rick Pluta:

State Superintendent Mike Flanagan says declining enrollment is the most-common issue in the deficit districts. That’s led to a loss of state funding.

Flanagan says schools do need more resources, but most are keeping their budgets balanced. The ones that don’t, he says, are a rarity.

“Sometimes I think there’s boards, to be blunt, that don’t want to make the tough decisions and so they have assumptions in their budgets that just aren’t reasonable,” said Flanagan.

Flanagan says that’s just one of the problems that forced the Buena Vista schools to briefly shut down last month.

You can see the updated list of Michigan schools in deficit here.

In May, Michigan Radio reported on the 15 Michigan schools running the largest deficits.

The latest information adds Pontiac School District, Buena Vista School District, and Ecorse Public School District to the list. These schools have deficits that are projected to be 39.57%, 56.89% and 13.41% of the projected revenue, respectively. 

The graph below shows the number of schools that ran a deficit in a given school year.

MI School districts in deficit | Create infographics

-Julia Field, Michigan Radio Newsroom

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