LANSING, Mich. - The Detroit Public school Emergency Manger Darnell Earley was at the state capitol today seeking support. This is for the governor's $715 million state aid package to buy down the DPS deficit, but as one lawmaker is telling Fox 2 it will be a heavy lift.
Now, the sell job begins.
“The objective is to begin a dialogue on the future of Detroit Public Schools,” said Earley.
The chair of the committee considering the bill is not there yet and may not get there.
“This is the opening bill and we go from there, clearly there are some difficulties,” said Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw Twp.).
During the testimony, the emergency manager hit on all the improvements the district has made including the elimination of about 50 layers of bureaucracy in the central office.
Before the committee approves the governor’s plan to spend $72 million a year for the next ten years to reduce the DPS deficit, lawmakers want to make sure the district avoids future deficits.
“This is a big ask, one would think I don’t know how based in reality it is,” said Kelly. “I don’t see how you go forward.”
The state treasurer Nick Kouri tells the committee the district will run out of cash within six to twelve months and for those who want to use the bankruptcy courts instead they say it will not work.
Nick Kouri says that it won’t work as it did with the city of Detroit's red ink.
“The debt of DPS is owed to the state, so if you file we are still going to owe it anyway,” said Kouri. “In fact, if we don’t act now then the liability will probably get worked.”
“The status quo would lead to everything we don’t want which is bankruptcy and something has to be done,” said Kouri.
Fox 2: “Are you saying trust us, we'll get this right.”
Earley: “What we are saying to lawmakers is that we have a plan and we believe the plan will work.” “We need your help to implement the plan.”
The sell job continues with the governor wanting this done by the end of the year.