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Bills to keep schools out of deficit on long list of “lame duck” issues

Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

State lawmakers could take up legislation next week meant to keep schools out of deficit.

The legislation would require more reporting from schools that are deemed to be in financial trouble. It could also open up more money in state grants and loans.

State Sen. Howard Walker, R-Traverse City, says he’s confident the bills will reach the governor’s desk by the end of the year.

“The more I talk about the process that we’re trying to establish the more support we get,” said Walker.

But some school groups oppose the bills. They say they would create an overly burdensome reporting system and make it easier to appoint emergency managers.

Walker says he has tried to address those concerns.

“At the end of that process I was disappointed to see that even though we incorporated a lot of the input, there still are a lot of school interest groups that aren’t supportive,” he said.

“Current law allows you to get to that point. We’re setting up a system that, I truly believe, will help us stay away from that situation.”

The state recently dissolved the Buena Vista and Inkster school districts after they ran out of money.