Detroit Public Schools could run out of money by April

Detroit Public Schools are in debt. But we're getting a better idea of the scope with a new report that says they could be out of cash by April.

- It's no secret Detroit Public Schools are drowning in debt but could they run out of money by this spring? A new report says yes.

DPS is in debt. $3.1 billion, to be exact, and that means the school could run out of cash by April, before the school year even ends.

Michelle Zdrodowski, Exec Director of Communications DPS, says only 40% of the money that DPS receives go into the classrooms and money is running short, quickly.

"DPS has been running out of money, the issue is if everything stays on track with what we think, if the projections hold true, we're going to be running out of cash by April," Zdrodowski said.

So how is that $3.1 billion in debt divvied up? Just under $1.8 billion is from legacy costs and debt on past cash flow borrowing, that's unique to Detroit Public Schools. The other $1.7 billion has to do with paying bonds for capital improvements.

Does that mean DPS students are not getting a good education because they don't have enough money? Maybe, according to Eric Lupher, the President of Citizens research Council of Michigan.

"There's only so much money and when you have to spread it over more things, that means there's less money to pay for the teachers, to pay for the supplies you need, to pay for the books, to pay for the gas to run busses and everything else," Lupher said.

Zdrodowski said they've been trying desperately to make ends meet.

"We've been doing everything we can over the course of the last year to try and alleviate that but we can't cut enough to make our revenues meet our expenditures"  Zdrodowski said.

In the past decade, DPS has lost about 100,000 students. However, emergency managers have decided that 60% of the departments income goes to paying debt and not to the kids in the classroom.

"The emergency managers ostensibly working for the state, appointed by Gov. Snyder and the people in Lansing, they're the ones that have made these decisions," Lupher said.

"We need the Legislature to consider the urgency of this situation and understand if that we run out of cash, who is going to educate the kids" Zdrodowki said.

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