Michigan governor says Highland Park schools in financial crisis

District has meeting in Lansing on Tuesday

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LANSING, Mich. - Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has informed Highland Park schools officials that a financial emergency exists in the district, paving the way for the state to appoint an emergency manager.

The Republican governor announced the decision Thursday, acting on recommendations of a 10-member independent review team. Snyder said in a statement that the district in the small city partially surrounded by Detroit "faces monumental financial challenges."

State Treasurer Andy Dillon said the district was given a $188,000 advance on scheduled state aide to cover this week's payroll.

"Most troubling to me is that this is a temporary fix," Dillon said.

The school district faces an $11.3 million budget deficit. It 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.

The Highland Park Board of Education has requested a hearing before state school officials. It's been scheduled for Tuesday in Lansing.

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