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      Flint School Board approves deficit elimination plan that includes 19 percent wage cut

      Flint school leaders struggling to balance the books hope they have the right formula this time, with a plan they say includes some tough, painful cuts.

      The Flint School Board approved its latest deficit elimination plan during a brief special meeting Monday night. It will now be sent to the state for final approval.

      The plan includes a 19 percent wage cut that could affect up to 600 Flint school employees.

      Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins said last week the reductions also include staff cuts and possibly more building closures. They??re expected to save the district about $600,000 this year and $1.2 million each following year until 2018.

      Watkins said Monday, ??You??re talking about the livelihood of staff and the effect it has on their families, again, not an easy decision to make, but we are making the decisions in the best interest of the students in the Flint Community Schools."

      The deficit elimination plan aims to have Flint schools out of a $19 million budget deficit by 2018. The cuts are expected to take effect July 1.