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Review Team Says Pontiac School District In A Fiscal Crisis

A state review team has determined the Pontiac school district is saddled with so much debt it’s in a financial crisis.

As The Michigan Public Radio Network’s Rick Pluta reports, now it’s up to Governor Rick Snyder to decide whether he agrees with that determination.

The state-appointed board found the school district’s debt has continued to grow over the past five years. It’s now almost $38 million in the red with no credible plan to dig out. The district has missed paying some critical bills, including employee health insurance premiums.

Governor Snyder has 10 days to decide whether he agrees with the finding, but it’s expected he will concur. If so, the district will have some options to choose from. The district can negotiate a deficit elimination plan with the state, it can ask the governor for permission to file for bankruptcy or it can ask for a state-appointed emergency manager.

If it chooses that last option, Pontiac and Detroit would be the only two Michigan local governments with both the city and the school district under the control of emergency managers.

Rick Pluta is Senior Capitol Correspondent for the Michigan Public Radio Network. He has been covering Michigan’s Capitol, government, and politics since 1987. His journalism background includes stints with UPI, The Elizabeth (NJ) Daily Journal, The (Pontiac, MI) Oakland Press, and WJR. He is also a lifelong public radio listener.
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