Snyder's DPS plan can't wait because children deserve better

By Mike Renda, General Manager

Recent revelations from safety inspects aft select Detroit Public Schools should make all of us living in Michigan cry out and demand action from the state legislature.

Code violations such as rodents and insects on supremacy, mold and mildew in the classrooms and leaking roofs are a total outrage. Can you imagine parents and educators in Birmingham or Troy being expected to put up with these conditions?

Of course not, the situation is a result of poor management and oversight by the state and outgoing emergency manager for the DPS, Darnell Earley. That name sound familiar?

He also presided as EM of the city of Flint when the plan to use the water from the Flint River was implemented. The disgusting conditions in the schools have come to light following teacher sickouts at most of the 97 schools inside the district. They've had enough of the terrible conditions are begging the state to act. Gov. Rick Snyder's original plan to fix the DPS schools included the continuation of strong oversight by the state and debt relief to the tune of $500 million.

But Snyder and his proposals have been met with skepticism and concern, considering the track record under state oversight. Broad portions of the governor's plan are supported by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan. It would wipe out the $500 million debt and includes far less involvement by the state. It would direct as much as $250 million to the establishment of a new city school district and would call for the return of the control of the district to an appointed school board within one year.

Governor Snyder must lead the effort to convince the Republican majority in the legislature to pass a Detroit become schools reform plan and do so quickly. Detroit school children deserve better and cannot wait any longer.
 

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