Pontiac schools are a step closer to a possible state takeover.
A state board found Pontiac schools in "probable financial stress," following a review led by the state schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan. The board's finding triggers a more comprehensive review of the district's finances.
The school system's deficit was close to $38 million about a year ago. That's about half of its operating budget, and way over the state's benchmark for determining whether a district is in trouble.
The district's ability to pay its bills has been touch and go. Last month the state released aid it had been withholding to avoid a payless payday.
And the schools system's financial troubles are mounting. A court has ordered a tax levy on property owners in Pontiac and neighboring communities to cover almost $8 million in unpaid health insurance premiums.
If a team appointed by Governor Snyder decides there's a financial emergency in Pontiac schools, the school board would have to choose among a set of options. One of those options is appointing an emergency manager.