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Education chief: Detroit Public Schools likely will need state's help in reducing debt

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LANSING, Michigan — Outgoing superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan says it's unlikely that the troubled Detroit Public Schools will be able to wipe out its debt without the state stepping in.

Flanagan wrote Wednesday in a report to education appropriations subcommittees that the district's $56 million annual debt service represents about $1,200 in cuts per student each year.

He says current cash needs may force Detroit Schools to refinance even more debt which would increase debt payments.

Gov. Rick Snyder has proposed paying off $483 million in debt over seven years by splitting the 47,000-student district in two and directing up to $72 million more annually to the new district's operations. The Republican-controlled Legislature has been resistant to reducing aid to other districts to bail out Detroit.

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