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New Math?

The Wife reported an interesting bit of news today. The part I find most compelling comes a few graphs down:

In a separate presentation, the district's chief financial officer reported to the school board that the district has overspent its budget so far this school year by more than $21 million.

Ricardo Kisner, chief financial officer for the district, said the district will have to bring spending in line during the remainder of the school year to make up for the overspending.

You don't say?

Now, I'm not casting judgment (yet) on the overall job that Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb has done since taking control of the budget for DPS, and I'm certainly not opposed to someone working diligently to clean up what's wrong with the school system that graduated me. But c'mon, man. You're tasked with stopping the hemorrhaging, and you start by gouging your own holes in the district's finances?

I realize Bobb's got a ways to go, which is why I don't want to seem too harsh. But when the new sheriff rolls into town and struts into that too-rowdy saloon to start policing the place, I don't expect him to come out a few hours later with the smell of Jack Daniels on his breath.

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  • 1

    "But when the new sheriff rolls into town and struts into that too-rowdy saloon to start policing the place, I don't expect him to come out a few hours later with the smell of Jack Daniels on his breath."

    Is a veiled acknowledgment of Warren Evan's bar in Corktown? =0)

  • 2

    Without knowing what makes up that $21 million it's hard to pin anything on Bobb. Even though he's an Emergency Financial Manager he doesn't have the ability to break current contracts at will (as if in bankruptcy), does he? He's already said the district has been massively overpaying for some things and if ongoing contracts are involved he'll have to try to find escape clauses or run them to expiration if there isn't sufficient evidence of fraud or other wrongdoing to merit abandoning the contract.

  • 3

    The Detroit News report has a little more information:

    "the district's chief financial officer, Ricardo Kisner, revealed to the DPS Board that the district had overspent its budget by more than $21 million in the first three months of the school year, largely because of taking care of past-due vendor payments and the purchase of the textbooks at the start of the year. He said the district would monitor spending for the rest of year."$20M-savings-for-DPS

  • 5

    An assessment of the job Robert Bobb has done to date would be incomplete without juxtaposing it to his oft repeated mission: that he is here because someone has to look out for the kids....Well Mr a oft disrespected Teacher I can honestly report that students in many schools throughout DPS still do not have the things they need. I am not speaking of luxuries like computers and Ipods...just the basic neccesities like toilet paper and paper towels. A number of Teachers still do not have the necessary books and supplies to do what they have been contracted to do - and believe it or not...there are a number of teachers in DPS who are as frustrated this school year as they have been in school years past. Mr. Bobbs' strength would have to be numbers crunching because students are not receiving a better education because of the decsions he is making..and according to the blog I am responding to..he is not doing a good job of that....I know...I am in the trenches everyday....DPS is still in need of more than Robert Bobb....

    • 5.1

      gotta start somewhere, though, and cleaning up the financials is a good first step so that it can become obvious what was really going on

      (seriously, dead people still on the health insurance plan???)

  • 6

    [...] ago, he promised a multi-million-dollar surplus. Then it came out last fall that he had added $21 million to the deficit. Then last month, the Wife (who broke the news about the $21 million, BTW) reported that the [...]

  • 7


    New Math? - The Detroit Blog -

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