News Bite

Population Fell In Post-Bankruptcy Detroit, City Revenue Rose

The school district saw a modest enrollment increase after its 2016 bailout

Payrolls at the city of Detroit and the school district that serves it have increased dramatically since their bankruptcy and state bailouts in 2013 and 2016, respectively.

When the city filed for bankruptcy in July 2013, it carried 6,294 full-time employees on its payroll, with revenue of $1.37 billion for the year. By 2020, the payroll had risen to 7,436 full-time employees, with $1.43 billion in revenue for the year. Over the same time, Detroit’s population fell, going from 713,777 in 2013 to 670,031.

When the Michigan Legislature voted to give the Detroit school district a bailout in 2016, there were 6,343 full-time employees listed on its payroll, with $824.9 million in revenue for the year. By 2020, the payroll at the reorganized Detroit Public Schools Community District had grown to 7,688 full-time employees, and total revenue was $846.9 million for the year. But the old Detroit Public Schools district that was bailed out still exists to pay off debts; it received another $176 million in 2020. 

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.