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Flint school district could face state intervention

Nov 18, 2014

Credit Steve Carmody / Michigan Radio

An audit of the Flint Community Schools has revealed that the district's deficit has risen to $21.9 million dollars. The district is searching for possible solutions, one of which may be state intervention or an emergency manager.

School officials know a solution is necessary, but they disagree that state involvement is the best way to solve their problems. Isaiah Oliver is the president of the Flint School Board. 

"I think it's better if we work together to make this happen, and I think we're in a good position right now in the Flint community to create a model that works where the state does not have to come in," Oliver said. 

The school has asked the teachers union for an additional 15% in concessions to help lessen the financial strain. Despite the sacrifices that will need to be made, Oliver says that the district's main priority is to provide the best education possible.

No matter who is involved in helping Flint out of its deficit, Oliver acknowledges that there is no silver-bullet solution. 

"Whoever addresses this issue – whether it be the district and our community, which is what I prefer, or the state – whoever addresses this issue is going to have to put some time and some sweat equity into it. It's not going to be a quick fix," he said. 

The details of the deficit will be examined at a school board meeting Wednesday night. 

Flint schools have the third-highest deficit in Michigan, behind Detroit at $127 million and Pontiac at $41.4 million. 

–Paige Pfleger, Michigan Radio Newsroom