Preliminary financial review could lead to EM in Pontiac

Troubles keep mounting for the financially-strapped Pontiac School District.

Last month, more than 40 teachers were laid off—some with only 48-hours notice.  That brings the total layoffs to 95 since January.

Then the district was denied its $1.25 million April state aid payment because it did not meet the obligations in its own deficit-elimination plan. Now, the state has ordered a preliminary financial review of the district’s $24.5 million deficit.

The review—expected to be completed next month—is the first step in the process that could eventually mean the appointment of an emergency manager for the school district.

Officials from the Michigan Department of Education will meet with the district’s administration to complete the review. If a true financial emergency exists, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan could ask Gov. Snyder to appoint a financial review team.

Amazingly—even after the district’s deficit doubled from June 2010 to June 2011, they needed two advances to make payroll, and there is evidence of past fraud—Pontiac’s interim superintendent remains confident they will more than meet their goal of cutting $20 million from the deficit by next year.

Currently, there are three school districts with emergency managers—Muskegon Heights, Highland Park and Detroit.