When a school district overspends, it is required to submit a plan to the Michigan Department of Education detailing how it will get out of the red ink. On Aug. 20, the MDE release this statement about Detroit Public Schools most recent Deficit Elimination Plan:

“It’s important that Detroit Public Schools continues to receive sufficient State Aid as the district works through its longer-term financing options. Having an approved Deficit Elimination Plan is a component in that process."

In the approval letter from State Superintendent Mike Flanagan, it stipulates that “if the agreements with employees or other strategies included in the approved DEP are not implemented or do not result in the projected savings, the district must immediately reduce expenditures in other areas in order to meet the level of deficit reduction included in the approved DEP.”

For the Record says: Detroit Public Schools have been overspending for seven consecutive years going back to 2007-08. Its overspending crisis has grown the past two years from $76.3 million to $120.3 million per year.

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Detroit Prep is a top-rated and economically and racially diverse charter school in the city. It's growth means it needs to move out from a church basement and into a new location. Nearby is a former Detroit Public Schools building, sitting empty for years. But, worried about competition, the public school district refused to sell. For years, district and local government officials in Detroit had worked to block public charter schools. They pushed legislation at the Michigan Capitol to hinder them, refused to sell to them, transferred surplus buildings from the district to the city government and imposed deed restrictions on property sales to private developers. All of it was aimed to hinder or even prevent charter school choice outside the confines of the Detroit school district.

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