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Detroit Public Schools

RBG’s President and CEO, Robert Bobb, was appointed Emergency Financial Manager of DPS by the former Governor of Michigan, Jennifer Granholm. The district was in a state of crisis due to decades of mismanagement and corruption. The RBG Team addressed the district’s legacy deficit, which was projected to peak at $305.8M, and created a Master Education Plan for 21st Century Teaching and Learning for the school district. RBG’s work initiated and drove the process of removing DPS from the Federal High-Risk Status in 2013 by the Michigan Department of Education. Outcomes of the project included the successful passage of a $500.5M bond issue, which resulted in 23 separate projects relating to real estate asset management and the modernization of 18 schools. All of these projects were completed on time and on budget within three years with very few change orders. Additionally, RBG employed more than 600 local students, traders, and laborers to assist with the projects.

The RBG team established and managed the DPS Real Estate Group that was responsible for all of the real estate functions of the school system, including over 10 million square feet of vacant buildings, and 400 acres of vacant land. The Real Estate Group generated over $10M in revenue through the maximization of existing real estate assets, multiple acquisitions and dispositions, restructuring, and capital improvement projects, among other things. In two years RBG successfully disposed of over 3Msquare feet and generated millions in recurring revenue in addition to the $10M.

Among other cost-saving projects, the RBG team administered the managed competition processes in Detroit Public Schools to improve performance and reduce costs of key functions including transportation, public safety, and facilities management. Results included $4M in annual security savings, $8M in annual transportation, $ 14.8M in annual janitorial and maintenance costs, and $4.8 M in revenue from the sale of the bus fleet. Additionally, the team reduced the workforce by 32% and generated over $500M in savings.

RBG led investigations into corruption and fraud, which led to the recovery of millions of dollars and the prosecution of individuals found to have been involved in illegal activity. RBG conducted full-lifecycle administrative, operations, security, and policing assessments to identify operational mismanagement and best-practice turnaround consulting for each department and school.

RBG led technological upgrades to each necessary department, including the police department and student safety departments. RBG conducted public safety assessments and implemented strategic initiatives to improve student, staff, and public safety.

Lastly, RBG worked with the city transportation department to review, refine, and implement standards and strategies around bus service, public transportation service, and service and public roadways; with the intent to protect school assets, property, and student lives. RBG led training initiatives on the new transportation policies and procedures.

RBG managed the daily operations of Special Education services to DPS and identified numerous opportunities to improve quality and efficiency in the delivery of those services to DPS students. Over a two-year period, DPS implemented $53M in cost savings while achieving unprecedented levels of compliance with Special Education requirements over the same period.

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