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Flint's Board of Education approves deficit elimination plan

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

The Flint Board of Education has signed off on a deficit elimination plan for the district.

The challenge now is sticking to it.

The Flint school district is $15.8 million dollars in the red.

To address that, school board members last night approved a plan that will cut jobs, close two elementary schools and trim other expenses.   The goal is to reduce the district deficit to zero by June, 2016. 

Antoinette Lockett is the board president. She says retaining students will be key.

“So much is tied to student enrollment and that’s where we have to focus on,” says Lockett, “Stabilizing student enrollment and putting us in a better position to address issues within our finances.”

Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins says the district plans an aggressive campaign to attract and retain students.  

The deficit elimination plan anticipates Flint schools will lose more than 1700 students over the next three years. Enrollment has fallen from 25,000 students in the mid ‘90’s to about 8,000 now. 

This is the second Deficit Elimination Plan the Flint Board of Education has passed.    The first one was passed in December, 2011.  

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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