Gov. Snyder announces overhaul plan for Detroit Public Schools

Hundreds of Detroit teachers and union members are headed to Lansing Thursday to protest Gov. Snyder's education plan. 

Snyder announced his plan later that morning in Detroit. It focuses on district's $2 billion debt, as well as the poor academic performance of its students. 

The plan includes splitting the district into two entities: one that would pay off the debt with an existing property tax, and the other would concentrate on teaching kids. 

We're told hundreds of Detroit teachers left their posts in the classroom to take a stand Thursday morning. As a result, DPS says 17 schools were closed due to a lack of teachers and other instructional staff. 

The union president says sometimes you have to do something significant to prove a point, and to prove public education matters. 

"We're tired of charters and EAA, which is the governor's plan, which has been shown to be a complete disaster. We want public education back; we want an elected, empowered schoolboard in Detroit; we want the EA schools back; and we want the money reimbursed from years of this governor and the previous governors' emergency managers, supposedly to right size the finances, but they've been destroying the finances of Detroit Public Schools," says DFT President Steve Conn. 

Another contingent of teachers is rallying Thursday outside the Cadillac Tower, where Snyder is unveiling his plan. 

DPS EM Darnell Earley released this statement following the school closures: 

"Detroit Public Schools' sole focus and goal is the education of the more than 47,000 students whose education it has been entrusted with by their families. That focus and goal should be shared by all DPS employees. While we can agree to disagree on matters of policy, those disagreements should never impact our students and the instructional time they are entitled to as it has today - with 17 schools having been closed due to lack of teachers and other instructional staff. This unplanned turn of events is seriously misguided and directly harms our students - taking away a day in the classroom that students can ill-afford given the school days already missed due to our severe weather this past winter. It is truly unfortunate that so many of those who profess to be dedicated educators have decided to participate in this action given its unjustifiable and unconscionable consequence."

Taryn Asher will have the full breakdown of the governor's plan tonight on FOX 2 News beginning at 5 p.m.
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