Education
7:19 pm
Sun October 27, 2013

Detroit taxpayers foot big bill for closed schools

Detroit property owners face a quarter century of payments for construction and renovation of school buildings that no longer operate.

Abandoned school in Detroit
Credit Flickr user/Dave-a-roni (Dark Spot Photography)

The Detroit Free Press says that 110 buildings covered by $2.1 billion in bond issues in 1994 and 2009 are either empty or demolished.

The newspaper says taxpayers will be paying on the $1.5 billion balance until the year 2040. It says $106 million of the bond spending went to now-vacant or demolished buildings and says principal and interest on those buildings alone will cost taxpayers $438 million.

Detroit Public Schools enrollment has dropped sharply in recent decades, from about 183,000 in 1993 to about 49,000 today.

Detroit's population fell from 1.03 million in 1990 to about 700,000 today, and about 68,000 Detroit children attend non-district schools.