Flint School District Cuts CANUSA Games, Could Close Five Schools to Address Deficit
The Flint School District has cut funding to the CANUSA and Flint Olympian games as part of the plan to erase a nearly $22 million deficit. According to MLive, the district also wants the three unions - United Teachers of Flint, Service Employees International Union and Congress of Flint School Administrators - to take a 15 percent pay cut by the beginning of the year, could possibly close five schools and eliminate other programs. The recommendations were approved during a board meeting on Wednesday where the board learned of 23 weaknesses and two significant deficiencies in its audit.
Interim Superintendent Larry Watkins said "these are tough decisions that have to be made. I would have never thought that I would live to see the CANUSA and the Flint Olympian Games eliminated."
Among the other cuts were the district's expulsion and continuation programs and the Read 180 program in a budget amendment for the current fiscal year. The amendment was needed because of inaccurate budgeting practices done under the district's previous business office staff.
So far, the district has not said which schools it would shutter, but that the closures could start with two buildings in the 2015-16 school year and then one additional closure per year through 2018-19.
Flint Schools are projecting to continue losing between 10-12 percent of students each year through 2018-19. In 2019-20 Flint Schools anticipate losing zero students and then gaining a few in 2020-21. Richard Carpenter of the Rehman Group, which is running the district finances and whose services are being paid for from a grant from the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation, said if "we cannot stop losing students by 2019-2020, the rest of the plan begins to fall apart."