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Flint school board approves deficit elimination plan

(photo by Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio)
An overflow crowd attended last night's Flint school board meeting on the district's $3.7 million deficit elimination plan

A divided Flint School Board narrowly approved a state mandated deficit elimination plan last night.   

The board first deadlocked whether to approve the $3.7 million deficit elimination plan. After being told the district would potentially lose some pending state funding, the board revoted on the plan and passed it.  

Linda Thompson is Flint’s school superintendent. She said the plan should help the district avoid falling under the oversight of a state appointed emergency manager. Maybe.   

“If we can’t demonstrate to them that we’re able to make these cuts…then that would be a different story altogether," said Thompson.   

One board member said he would prefer a state takeover of Flint’s public schools. Board member David Davenport said he would trust an emergency manager more than the current school district administration to solve the district’s financial problems.   

The board was sharply divided over the plan’s inclusion of proposed school closings and consolidations. One of the schools named in the plan is Flint's Northern High School. A handful of Northern students asked the board not to close their school.   

Superintendent Thompson said the schools listed in the deficit elimination plan aren’t necessarily the ones that will close.  

“There’s a lot of leg work that has to go behind the definitive schools that you choose: capacity, movement of students, costs feasibilities…all of those things," said Thompson.     

Thompson expects the district will decide which schools should close in the Spring.


Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.