More on the Detroit schools story

Drudge is running a headline linking to this article about a Detroit elementary school seeking donations of light bulbs and toilet paper to “keep their school functioning”.

In the letter (to staff, parents, and partners), Principal Naomi Khalil cited budget constraints within the district as the reason why the school could no longer stock the items.

The district is grappling with a more than $400 million budget deficit and is on the verge of being assigned an emergency financial manager by the state.

The letter asks for toilet paper, paper towel rolls, trash bags and 60, 100 or 150-watt light bulbs.

I dug around a bit and found DPS’s 2008-09 budget.

  • On page 19, you find that the projected number of students is 98,356 (a continued decline).
  • On page 31, you find that the projected revenue and expenses are over $1.1B.
  • Doing the math, that means they are taking in and spending well over $11K per student.

So they are getting around $11,250 per student and begging parents to give them basic supplies because they’re broke. Doesn’t that just tug at your heartstrings?

P.S. No mention why they are looking for regular light bulbs instead of CFLs. Hmmm.