The Board of Education, previously a powerful force in the district, has been sidelined for several years as state-appointed Emergency Financial Managers Robert C. Bobb and Roy Roberts have held legal control.


Robert C. Bobb is appointed by Jennifer Granholm as Emergency Financial Manager of the Detroit Public Schools.

August 2009

An August audit of the DPS Police Department found "gross abuses" overtime and attendance rules. Hundreds of unused, including BlackBerry phones, motorcycles and metal detectors were also found.

November 2009

Bobb announces lawsuits against four people who have refused to testify at his hearings on questionable real estate transactions with DPS: DPS board member Anthony Adams; presidents of the Farbman Group, David and Andy Farbman, and Sharon Harbin, and appraiser who worked for the school district.

Bobb announced a day later that the Farbman brothers would meet privately with him.



All DPS teachers were given layoff notices. The district was dealing with a $237-million deficit.




  • June 8: Roy Roberts says that DPS' budget problems are worse than he thought, but doesn't provide specifics and declines to release the draft DPS budget.
  • 9: DPS slows plans to covert school to charters as part of the Renaissance Plan 2012. Only three operators and five schools are selected.


  • July 13: Roberts names Doug Ross, founder of New Urban Learning, as the the head of the DPS charter project.
  • 25: About 3,800 laid off teachers are recalled. An additional 1,200 laid-off staff are expected to be recalled in late July or August.
  • 29: Roberts announces a 10% wage cut for all employees, as well as mandatory 20% health care contributions.
  • 30: DPS union leaders will meet to discuss responses to Roberts' universal 10% wage cut.


  • August 1: State lawmakers will discuss changes to the public school accreditation system in September.
  • 19: The district posts an FAQ about 2011-12 concessions.
  • 25: Most teachers have been assigned to classes. In 2010, several classes went weeks without permanent teachers, allegedly because of student first-day attendance problems complicating numbers.
  • 29: The State superintendent says that the state will need to help with the district's $327M deficit.



  • Attendance fell below 75% on more than 45 days in the past school year, causing the state to investigate fining DPS for persistent truancy. Funding is withheld for high absence rates. The district could be charged as much as $25M. Incomplete attendance records are making evaluation difficult.
  • Roy Roberts presented a mandated 6-month financial report, which showed an 8% cut in spending in the last fiscal year, shrinking the district deficit by about $43M from $327M to $283M. In October, the district also refinanced $200M of debt into 10-year bonds, bringing the district's total long-term weigh to around $500M. The deficit is officially at $83.4M as of November 2011.


The District is preparing to move out of space leased from Farbman that was the subject of a 2009 controversy and into owned space. 98,400 square feet will be removed from the rolls. The relocation will be a one-time, $1.3M cost.

The Free Press reports the district will divide the space as follows:

  • Academics, Early Childhood (partial), Specialized Student Services, Innovation Office – Fisher 9th floor
  • Communications – Fisher 10th floor
  • DPS Foundation – Fisher 10th floor
  • Finance – Fisher 11th floor
  • General Counsel – Fisher 10th floor
  • Human Resources, Labor Relations, Health Services,
  • Employee Benefits – Fisher 10th floor
  • Information Technology (partial) – Fisher 10th floor
  • Parent Involvement – Fisher 6th floor
  • Procurement and Logistics – Fisher 11th floor
  • Risk Management – Fisher 11th floor
  • Early Childhood (partial) - Fleming School Building, 18501 Waltham
  • Professional Development - Harris Building, 3700 Pulford
  • Board of Education - Douglass Academy for Young Men at 2001 W. Warren
  • Pupil Population Management and Student Records -
  • Douglass Academy for Young Men at 2001 W. Warren
  • Special Education Placement - Douglass Academy for Young Men at 2001 W. Warren
  • Student Assistance and Intervention – Douglass Academy for Young Men at 2001 W. Warren
  • Research, Evaluation and Assessment – Support Services Complex at 1425 E. Warren

Highland Park School District

In March 2012, the Detroit Public Schools signed a four-month agreement to manage the Highland Park School District after HPS missed a payday and is operating at an $11M deficit. Jack Martin, emergency manager for HPS; Roy Roberts, and state Treasurer Andy Dillon signed the operating agreement.