On Monday, the Michigan Department of Education announced that Michigan’s school system is facing a $100 million deficit, the largest of its kind in the country.
The shortfall is caused by two major factors: a significant decline in state funding for education, and a decline in enrollment due to an aging population.
The number of students enrolled in the district schools has fallen by nearly half since 2007, according to the district.
Michigan’s Department of Economic Opportunity said the district is facing $30.7 million in net loss due to the fall in state funds.
The state, however, says the shortfall is much more significant.
The department says the district lost nearly $12 million in 2017, while its total net loss in 2017 was $58 million.
The district said it will rely on a combination of private-sector support and state support to fund the education system.
“The funding that we’ve received has come from two sources, both of which are not sufficient,” said Superintendent David Fennell.
“We will be working with our partners to find additional funding that is more equitable for our students.”
Fennell said the department is working with local school districts and community organizations to address the issue.
He said it’s also working to develop strategies to make sure the district can maintain a level playing field for all students.
According to the state, Michigan’s total enrollment fell by nearly 60,000 students between 2015 and 2019.
Finance Director Kevin McElroy said the decrease in enrollment is not as much due to a decline as it is due to aging students and students with disabilities.
McElroy pointed to a study released by the Michigan State University Center for Education Policy, which found that in-district enrollment declined by almost 40% between 2015-2019.
He said that could have been offset by increased enrollment in the outside district, which is still growing.
While the numbers might not seem too significant, it could be significant for a district that is already struggling with the loss of a large share of its student body.
The district reported that it has been losing $1.3 million in state aid since it began in 1999, when the district received about $2.8 billion in state and local funding.
It also received $2 billion in federal aid in 2020.
This year, the state approved a new $1 billion plan for the district, and that money will be used to help the district with education, the district’s board said.
But McElry said that in addition to the federal aid, the city of Detroit has been asking the state for $30 million in funding for school buildings.
In addition, Fennenell said, the school district has received $40 million in federal funding to build new buildings in the city.
With all the money that has been requested, the number of new students that are enrolled in schools has risen from 1,500 to 2,600, McElroys said.
“That’s a very significant number,” he said.
The number of children in the school system has dropped by about a third since 2007.
McEloy said that the drop in enrollment has been due to increased rates of poverty and the increase in the number who have special needs.
During the same time, he said, enrollment in special education has increased.
McElroy said the state’s goal is to make up for the loss in funding by adding more seats in the public school system.
“If we’re going to do that, we need to be able to have a strong student body,” he added.
As of last week, more than 4,600 students were enrolled in district schools.
Michigan’s total budget is $4.5 billion, according the Michigan Budget Commission.
For students, the average class size is 1.2 students, or about 1.5% of the district population.