Detroit -- Bonuses are being given to 8,000 employees of Detroit Public Schools by Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts -- despite a $75 million deficit in the beleaguered district, which has endured repeated rounds of school closings and teacher layoffs.

The president of the school board, which has battled Roberts in court over control of the state's largest school district, questioned the wisdom of paying bonuses and accused Roberts of overstepping his authority.

Under the program announced Friday, for each $5 million of general fund operating surplus the district has at the end of the 2011-12 and 2012-13 fiscal years, each eligible DPS employee will receive a 1 percent bonus equal to a staff member's base annual salary.

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