The plan, mandated by state education officials, will reduce the number of schools in the district from 142 to 72.
Robert Bobb, the district's emergency financial manager, said he was preparing a list of recommended school closures and that layoffs would be announced closer to April, according to The Detroit News.
The Detroit school budget is weighed down with $53 million in pension costs, $45 million for health care and $27 million for utilities. The district has lost 83,336 students in the past 10 years, which translates to a loss of more than $573 million in funding, UPI reports.
Census figures on Detroit show a bleak reality. Incomes in the city are half the national average, and one third of the population is in poverty. Michigan's unemployment rate is 12 percent, and from 2000 to 2010, it was the only state in the country where population decreased.
Data released today shows that only 10 percent of the state's high school graduates this year are ready for college.