NEWS from Detroit Public Schools
Office of Public Relations

For Immediate Release
Media Contact: Steve Wasko
313-873-4542; cell 313-212-5636

Detroit Public Schools will recommend a revised Deficit Elimination Plan (DEP) to the Detroit Board of Education at its Special meeting on Monday, December 1, 2008. The consent agreement between the State Financial Management Review Team and the Detroit Public Schools requires the submission of a revised plan by December 3, 2008.

General Superintendent Connie K. Calloway, Ph.D. said, “This is not a situation that Detroit Public Schools has gotten into overnight and not one in which we will get out of overnight. However, we accept our responsibility to make these necessary changes at this time. We know that the State of Michigan has lost more than 340,000 manufacturing jobs, and that more than 400 Michigan school districts witnessed enrollment declines this year.

“Michigan and Detroit share in the national economic crisis, being felt by the banks, the mortgage companies, the automakers, businesspeople and taxpayers, and state and Federal governments. This plan will assure that Detroit Public Schools is ahead of the game, proposing solutions to long term problems.”

The DEP includes 21 revised budget reduction strategies with projected savings of $172.6 million by June 2009, $174.4 million by June 2010, and $116.5 million by June 2011.

Of the $172.6 million in savings for the current fiscal year, actions have already been implemented that meet or exceed budget reduction targets totaling $143.5 million.

Budget reductions for this fiscal year (noting targets already met or exceeded) include:
1. Alignment of 700 non-instructional and central administrative positions due to declining enrollment, with a projected savings of $40 million for the current fiscal year. The district has laid off or issued layoff notices to 642 employees since July 1, 2008.
2. Alignment of 818 instructional-related positions. The district leveled staff in schools by deleting 117 vacant positions, laying off 230 staff and reassigning staff from 471 filled positions to funded vacancies in special education grants and general fund vacancies. (Target Met)
3. Elimination of 142 vacant central office positions. (Target Met)
4. Adjustment of 236 filled salary positions for projected second semester attrition and retirements
5. Concessions, to be addressed through ongoing negotiations with labor unions
6. Hiring 100 noon hour aides for lunchroom duty in secondary schools to lower hourly costs and provide teachers more instructional time (Target Met and Exceeded)
7. 50% reduction in central office budgets for supplies, purchased services, travel and equipment (Target Met)
8. Savings in vendor contracts through enforcement of the Vendor Process
9. Exploration of changes in the walk radius for transportation services
Additional strategies cover transfer of special education and applied academic costs, reductions in risk management costs, E-Rate telephone bill changes (Target Met), incorporating ROTC staff into teacher service (Target Met), adjusting secondary schools and career tech teacher service allocation (Target Met), reductions in utility costs, strategic sourcing, contract enforcement, and reductions in the Board budget.

In compliance with the original DEP, the Consent Agreement and enrollment declines, school closures effective August 2009 are currently being studied. School academic status, enrollment, projections, capacity and building conditions are among the parameters being used to identify schools on a primary list for closure.

In addition, the administration will recommend to the Board policies to: limit the amount of time an employee is paid during the appeal process, determine a date by the beginning of April in which all employees must state retirement plans for the upcoming year, and limit enrollment waiver transfers.

Dr. Calloway thanked the many administrators whose work, commitment and support helped to create the deficit elimination plan. To the district parents she said, “We will continue to move forward with our Blueprint for Excellence based on Board/Superintendent Goals, following the recommendations from the Council of Great City Schools and the community-based Governor’s Transition Team, creating the unique DPS Advantage for our students, ensuring all students’ success, redesigning our high schools, and implementing support programs to meet all student needs.”

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