Some state lawmakers bristle at DPS sickouts in Lansing

- On Monday a House committee approved a $5 million plan to restructure Detroit Public Schools but will that be enough?

FOX 2: "What do you think is going on with the teachers?"

"It's terrible, terrible," said Rep. Klint Kesto (R-Oakland County).

FOX 2: Do the teacher actions make it tougher to vote yes?"

"It doesn't make it difficult for me," said Rep. Sam Singh (D-East Lansing). "Those teachers have a right to express their views and their concerns."

The Republican chair of the House budget committee Rep. Al Pscholka observed that the timing of the work stoppages in Detroit could not have been worse. Yet the chairman pledges to do something on behalf of the teachers to find extra money so there are no payless paydays.

FOX 2: "Are you going to promise that they are going to get paid?"

"Teachers you are going to get paid, get back to work," Pscholka said.

On the DPS reform package before the committee, Republicans say they have made some major concessions to the Democrats. However Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's Detroit Education Commission is dead. But a vote for a new school board in Detroit in August is alive.

On Gov. Rick Snyder's front, he wanted the committee to spend $715 million in Detroit.  But Pscholka argues that $515 million to eliminate the deficit will do, and not the extra $200 million.

"I don't think its necessary," Pscholka said. "There's $30 million additional to get started and there's another $50 million that the district will receive. So I think we're all set."

But House Democrats coming out of a closed door meeting were not "all set."

"When you look at the language of the bills and they haven't made any compromises," said Rep. Brian Banks (D-Detroit). "When you look at the language of the bills they are anti-Detroit and anti-labor, anti-sickout language and things like that."

The mayor still wants that education commission to decide where schools are opened and closed.

What Duggan wants, he will have to fight to get. Some powerful Republicans are against him including Pscholka, the Devos family and portions of the charter school community.

On the mayor's side, Gov. Rick Snyder and some Democtrats that want the DEC. If there is some middle ground - nobody has found it.


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