State approves Flint schools deficit elimination plan; district avoids state control for now

It's a bleak picture for Flint Community Schools.

â??Weâ??re going to make the tough decisions or the state is going to make the tough decisions,â?? says Isaiah Oliver, president of the Flint school board.

The district avoiding state control---for now. The Michigan Department of Education approving a budget deficit elimination plan which allows the school board to make decisions.

â??That approval is based on significant contingencies the district must abide by,â?? says Bill DiSessa, a spokesman for the Michigan Department of Education.

â??Thatâ??s really good news,â?? says Oliver. â??0That's the first step for us to really restructure our district and effect real change."

That change includes a 19-percent pay cut for staff, more building closures and teacher and staff layoffs.

â??We have to do it, we have no choice,â?? says Oliver. Them (MDE) accepting our deficit elimination plan is the first step in moving in that direction,â?? he adds.

â??If districts don't abide by certain contingencies they may lose their state aid payment,â?? warns DiSessa.

Those contingencies include monthly budget reporting to the state, a new education plan and keeping a close eye on enrollment.

â??We are doing everything in our power to make sure an emergency manager does not come in and take over our school district,â?? assures Oliver.

The Flint school board will vote to layoff six employees on Wednesday night.