Detroit school board ramps up battle over Lansing DPS rescue plan

- Detroit's school board ramps up its fight against Governor Rick Snyder with a big meeting downtown.

Not only are they trying to block the state's latest takeover plans in DPS, they want the community to "stand up" against all state intervention - and have a long list of demands.

At this point in the fight it is mainly a grass roots effort by Detroit's elected school board members who no longer have any official power to oversee the district.

With their attorney Tom Bleakley, they filed a lawsuit this week in the court of appeals to in hopes of getting an injunction and stopping the bailout plan for DPS.

President Lamar Lemon says during his time on the job, he has requested checks and balances from the governor, Department of Treasury, and the emergency manager.

"We want to see the books," said Lamar Lemon.  "We've asked repeatedly for seven years. We have not been able to get any clarity as to the state of the finances. And remember, the primary reason the state is here is to rectify the financial emergency."

They also want all local power returned back to Detroit.

"We have been harmed since 1999 when the state first took over DPS," said Wanda Akilah Redmon, school board member. "The state closed more than half of the schools in our city and left them vacant. As a result, they were vandalized, and many of the schools were open, abandoned and dangerous."

"We are asking that our schools be returned and we are also asking that we have the same rights to govern our school districts as all the white districts in the state," said Elenna Herrada, school board member.

Attorney Tom Bleakley said that under the new act, Detroit would be the only district in the state where teachers would not have to be certified.

"Why subject them to unqualified teachers," he said. "Uncertified means unqualified because they haven't had the sufficient training to teach these kids."

The board members also want it to be only one school district in the city of Detroit. With the lawsuit filed, they're now waiting to have their day in court.

We contacted the governor's office, a spokesman would only say "We are confident the legislation meets all constitutional requirements, beyond that, we don't comment on pending lawsuits."


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