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New state consultant to work with struggling Pontiac Schools

The former emergency manager of two Michigan school districts ismoving onto help Pontiac schools.

Donald Weatherspoon was the emergency manager of the Highland Park and Muskegon Heights schools.

Now, he’s a consent agreement consultant for the Pontiac schools. The Pontiac school board chose to enter a consent agreement after a state review found the district was in "fiscal stress."

Weatherspoon says that agreement lays out what the district needs to do erase an estimated $38 million deficit.

“My role is to advise the superintendent, [and] to make recommendations, with regard to the adjustments that need to be made for the district to sustain itself,” Weatherspoon said.

State officials say Weatherspoon made “significant progress” in Highland Park and Muskegon Heights. Both districts have turned  educational responsibilities over to private charter operators, the first in Michigan to do so.

Weatherspoon is being replaced as emergency manager in both districts by his brother, Gregory Weatherspoon.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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