But 10 districts expected to exit deficit status this year
Media outlets across the state have pounced on a comment by State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, who said this week there are a record 55 school districts now in deficit.
But downplayed in much of the reporting is that 10 school districts are projected to come out of deficit, which if confirmed in November by audits, would mean there actually are four fewer districts in deficit in 2012-13 than the previous year.
Michigan had 49 districts in deficit in 2011-12.
Michigan Department of Education Spokeswoman Jan Ellis said this was the first year that the state did forecasts on deficits.
"The reality is we won't know the bottom line until Nov. 15 when we get all the audited information in," Ellis said. "These numbers continue to evolve."
The number of school districts in deficit increased the most under then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm. During Gov. Granholm's tenure, the state foundation allowance increased six consecutive years from 2002-03 to 2008-09, but the number of schools in deficit increased from 10 in 2002-03 to 41 in 2008-09.