Highland Park schools await emergency manager

State review team says Gov. should appoint emergency manager


HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – In just one year, the Highland Park School District has had its budget deficit double from $6.6 million in the hole to $11.3 million.

Earlier this week, a state financial review team told Gov. Rick Snyder that it is time to appoint an emergency financial manager to bail out the school district.

The state takeover is imminent. All that is need is Snyder's signature.

Thursday night's School Board Meeting was met by frustrated parents such as Michelle Johnson, who has had six children attend Highland Park Schools.

"If the members that sit on the board that is there, it's going to get worse" Johnson said. "They are going to leave happy with their pockets filled, and we are going to have nothing."

Johnson welcomes a financial manager. She is not alone. Several board members defended the district's administration in trying to handle the financial crisis.

"I'd like to commend Superintendent Hightower for working very diligently with the union leadership" said board member Robert Davis.

However, not everyone agreed they made the correct decisions.

"Because I feel that we did not do what the state asked us to do. And I must go there because we did not do it," said Debra Humphrey, of the board of education.

The state financial review team and parents can agree the situation is critical.

"We're going to have nothing. Nothing. We have nothing left for this district as parents," said Johnson.