Group forms in opposition of emergency manager for Highland Park Schools

Group announced the formation of Financial and Academic Reinvestment Commission

Published On: Jan 30 2012 12:48:32 PM EST   Updated On: Jan 30 2012 06:54:33 PM EST
Highland Park schools
HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. -

Community leaders opposing Highland Park Schools new emergency financial manager held a news conference Monday to make sure their thoughts were known.

The group announced the formation of the Financial and Academic Reinvestment Commission. The group says FARC “will take a holistic approach to solving local governance issues through the development of forward-thinking public policy to address investment, cost-savings and new models of educational access and providing essential services. “

Sen. Bert Johnson, D-Detroit, said the group will find ways to help the city without the aid of state-appointed emergency manager Jack Martin.

“You’re not going to see cities rebuilt. You’re not going to see school districts repaired and ready to teach children if there’s going to be no reinvestment,” Johnson said. “Large-scale disinvestments has sent us to this place. If Highland Park is going to continue to exist, and I suspect that she will, than the governor is going to have to ante up and actually invest in the city. And that means some of these businesses we’re talking about driving into Michigan, some of them need to be driven into the city of Highland Park.”

Martin’s first day on the job was Monday.

His role will be helping the district out of its $11.3 million budget deficit.

The district has had an operating deficit in five of the past six fiscal years. Enrollment has dropped from 3,179 students to 969 during the past five years.