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Debt-Ridden Flint Schools To Give Each Employee $22k In Federal COVID-19 Money

Superintendent says district can’t use $156.1 million from feds to pay off debt

Managers of Flint Community Schools have spent more money on operations than the district brings in, ever since the 2010-11 school year.

Now the district is poised to receive $156.1 million in federal COVID aid, far more than enough to repay its debts.

But the district says it lacks the authority to use that cash to pay off the long-standing debt. Instead, officials say, they will give each employee $22,500 in extra pay.

Superintendent Kevelin Jones explained the decision in an email. “The funding that has been allocated to the district has specific guidelines for use that must be adhered to. Additionally, the federal COVID relief that has been allocated is on a reimbursement basis, which means the district must spend the funding on approved expenses per the guidelines first, before being reimbursed for those expenses.”

The district’s chronic overspending is the product of an exodus of students. Flint Community Schools had 23,962 students as of August 2000. The district was down to 3,623 students by August 2021.

Michigan Capitol Confidential is the news source produced by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy. Michigan Capitol Confidential reports with a free-market news perspective.