Flint school board approves deficit elimination plan

Flint Schools Chief Financial Officer Linda Holloway

The Flint School Board approved a three-year plan to erase nearly $16 million of debt by 2016.

The district anticipates losing close to 2,000 students over the next three years and laid out a deficit elimination plan that will include staff cuts, two more school closures and other reductions.

The three-year plan calls for a total of 570 staff members to be laid off by 2016 - nearly 300 of those teachers. The district plans to close one elementary school in the 2014-2015 school year and one more elementary school the following year.

Other cost-cutting measures mentioned in the plan include selling the district's warehouse for profit.

â??We have to make some very significant cuts,â?? Superintendent Larry Watkins said. â??We have to look at some things that we've had the pleasure of having in the past, which we no longer can have. We have to cut as far away from the classrooms as we possibly can. And again, it's a doable plan and it's a plan that we're going to work,â?? he said.

The district expects to get the deficit elimination plan approved by the state within the next couple of weeks.

The district laid off more than 130 staff in May and earlier this year closed four schools and restructure three others in march.