Detroit Update: No Major Grocery Stores, Bankrupt School System, $11,000 Average Priced Homes
1. DETROIT (CNNMoney.com) -- Detroit is one of America's largest cities, but there isn't a single grocery chain store within the city limits. Spurned by national retailers, Detroit's nearly 1 million residents instead rely on independent stores run by local entrepreneurs for their most basic needs. But for those entrepreneurs, staying in business can be a struggle.
2. DETROIT (WSJ) -- Detroit's public-school system, beset by massive deficits and widespread corruption, is on the brink of following local icons GM and Chrysler into bankruptcy court.
Even after millions of dollars in budget cuts in the spring, including 29 school closings and thousands of layoffs, the district started the fiscal year this month with a $259 million deficit. To meet payroll and pension obligations, the district has had to seek advances on state funding and other stopgap measures.
DPS's enrollment -- which largely determines its allotment of state funding -- is about half what it was in 2001, as suburban districts and charter schools have siphoned off tens of thousands of students. By this fall, DPS will have 172 schools open and more than 100 vacant. Meanwhile, the high-school-graduation rate is 58%; coupled with the enrollment losses, only about one-quarter of students who start high school in the district graduate from it in four years, according to outside estimates.
3. According to the Michigan Board of Realtors, the average price home in Detroit through June of this year fell to $11,268, a 42% drop from last year's average price of $19,448 during the same period.