CHICAGO — The financial strains facing Michigan's school districts continued to mount in fiscal 2013, with a near-record number of districts reporting deficits and state officials launching new initiatives to get a grip on the problem.

Michigan's schools superintendent last week reported that six more local school districts had deficits at the end of June than last year, boosting the total number to nearly 60. At least two districts are in "dire fiscal stress," requiring state emergency loans to make it through the year, Superintendent Mike Flanagan told legislators in a joint education committee meeting.

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