Lawmakers: several schools with debt recovering into the black
LANSING (WJBK) - Good news for some of our local school districts on the brink of bankruptcy.
State officials say several schools that were buried in debt are making major steps to get back in the black.
There's been a lot of negative news lately about failing schools but lawmakers got some upbeat news about districts that were buried in red ink but are now slowly but surely climbing back into the black.
"I think we showed some good news today, where a year ago 40 districts were in deficit and today it's down to 27 with nine hoping to eliminate their deficit and 15 reducing it," said Brian Whitson, state school superintendent.
In this area, Dearborn Heights, Garden City, Grosse Ile Township, Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy, The Webber Media Arts Academy and Taylor International Academy will wipe out their deficits this year.
The Pickney schools will get out of debt this year and several schools are being monitored closely including Williamston and Leslie schools.
The state school superintendent, however, reports large deficits still exist in some urban area schools.
"We're still having issues with the Pontiacs, Benton Harbors, Detroits and a few other districts like that where the deficit is going in the right direction -- is being reduced -- so it's good news but there's still large deficits there," Whitson said.
The chair of the K-12 budget believes the state system for identifying finically troubled schools early on is working to avoid bankruptcy down the road.
"There's more money, there's less schools in trouble, I think this early warning thing has been a terrific piece of legislation to help people stay out," Tim Kelly said.
While the state school superintendent is fixing the school financial problem, he says there is till work to do on addressing the academic failures in 38 schools