Detroit Public Schools budget cuts costs, positions while driving more resources into classrooms and reducing class size at most grade levels

89 percent of resources directed to schools and school-related programming

Detroit Public Schools’ proposed 2011-2012 budget removes $231 million in expenses, reduces staffing by 796 positions and cuts purchased/contracted services by $41.7 million while expanding pre-Kindergarten programs and directing 89 percent of resources to school and related programming and operating costs.

The budget, which drives more resources directly to classrooms to support the district’s rigorous five-year academic plan, also reduces class sizes at most grade levels.

Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said, “We must create and maintain an organization that totally accepts its responsibility for making this the top rate school district that it can be. That begins with this budget. The budget that is being submitted is fiscally sound and balanced.”

The budget is based on 60,568 general education students and 5,792 special education students representing a total membership for state aid purposes of 66,360. Revenues for the FY 2012 Operating Budget total $1,237,494,733 while the proposed operating expenses total $1,037,494,733. The budget uses $200,000,000 in long-term revenue bonds to reduce the current General Purpose deficit of $327,299,265 to $127,299,265.

“This budget will require us to live within our means while supporting the educational plan that’s been put in place. We must elevate the schools in terms of academics, performance and providing a safe environment for children. We have to build a first‐rate system of schools that parents choose to send their children to,” Roberts said.

The FY 2012 budget for total school and related programming and operating costs equals $925,716,109, or 89 percent of the total.

The primary goal of the Detroit Public Schools academic plan is to ensure equity of access to high quality instruction to all students while maximizing financial resources. For FY 2012, budgeted class sizes are reduced from 33 to 30 students in grades 4-5 and from 38-35 in grades 6-12 consistent with the provisions of the current Detroit Federation of Teachers collective bargaining unit agreement maximums. Budgeted class sizes for Kindergarten through third grade remain at 25 and for PreK remain at 18.

Pre-kindergarten programming will be increased throughout the district, reflecting the district’s position that investment in the expansion of a high‐quality pre‐kindergarten program provides the necessary foundation for academic success. Research shows that children who are provided rich early learning experiences benefit both cognitively and socially. At the same time, the pre‐kindergarten program can yield fiscal benefits by providing a unique opportunity for the district to counter declining enrollment and build a constant pipeline of students, with a solid academic foundation, who are prepared to enter the district’s kindergarten program.

Detroit Public Schools’ budget includes a wage reduction of 10 percent from the current agreement levels for all employees. Currently executive staff are subject to a concession of 7.5% on wages. For 2011-12, all employees will take a total 10 percent concession. The budget additionally assumes revised negotiated health, dental, life and vision plans with an 80-20 employer employee payment structure. This cost sharing plan follows the Governor’s Initiative that all public employees move to an 80‐20 cost sharing plan.

The budget includes $192,737,125 for Purchased and Contract Services, including transportation, supplies and more. The district will rebid all major contracts to secure reductions.

DPS is also proposing an amended Deficit Elimination Plan for the period of FY 2012 to FY 2016 with an elimination of the deficit within that period.

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