The state-appointed official overseeing the finances of Detroit's impoverished school district said Thursday that to close a $303 million budget deficit, he planned to shut more than a quarter of its 194 schools and eliminate the jobs of more than 10 percent of its teachers.
The plan calls for 23 schools to be permanently shut over the summer, leaving more than 7,500 students to be transferred to other schools. . . . An additional 30 to 40 schools will close next year . . . and as many as 600 teachers will be laid off this year.
By comparison, the Rocky Mountain News had a $14 million a year deficit, the Boston Globe is losing about $7 million a month, and GM is losing billions of dollars a year.
Lots of open questions remain after this brief report. Does Detroit have less to spend per student than other districts in Michigan? Are the closed schools doing a poor job, or just expensive and underfilled? What criteria are being used to close schools? What have recent enrollment trends looked like? What happens if Detroits collapse gets yet worse? When was the receiver appointed and why?