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Detroit Public Schools Face Drastic Cuts, Closures

DETROIT (WWJ) - Financial woes in the Detroit Public School District are expected to continue for the next three years and that will mean more school closings.

A deficit elimination plan obtained by The Detroit News says the district will close 28 schools. The closures are expected to save DPS about $13.4 million in operating expenses, but hundreds of district employees will be out of a job.

The district also plans to cuts expenses by $120 million in 2013-14, by $42 million in 2014-15 and by $33 million in 2015-16.

The plan, which was approved by state officials last week, is expected to reduce the district's current deficit of $72 million to $46 million in 2014 and $21  million in 2015.

Projections show a small surplus in the year 2016, but DPS will only have about 40,000 students. Several years ago, the district had more than 150,000 students.

Other parts of the financial plan deal with making the district more competitive in Detroit, such as upgrading the district's technology system and creating a new system to recruit well-qualified employees.

The goal is to zero out DPS' deficit, with the possibility of emerging from state control. The district has been under an emergency financial manager since March 2009.

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