Detroit Public Schools said last week it has released its comprehensive annual financial report, which shows a general fund deficit of $76.3 million, down from $283.9 million. The district, which is under state-controlled emergency management, showed an operating surplus of just under $11 million.
The district's revenue fell 21% for fiscal 2012, to $892 million from $1.13 billion in 2011, according to the audit. The biggest cut was in federal revenues, which fell 40% due to the loss of stimulus funding. Declining enrollment has led to a years-long decline in state aid.
The district sold $142 million of bonds in May that allowed it to get out of an agreement with Assured Guaranty Inc. that had cramped its ability to borrow.
"All outcomes are increasingly positive factors that continue to lead us toward fiscal stability, the elimination of the legacy deficit, increased funding driven to the classroom, and the enhancement of the district's ability to borrow funds at competitive rates," Detroit Public Schools Chief Financial Officer William Aldridge said.
Moody's Investors Service in July affirmed its B1 rating and negative outlook on the schools, saying the district has seen improved financial results in 2011 and 2012 but still faces serious challenges.