DETROIT - The battle over Governor Snyder's plan to save Detroit Public Schools has been heating up in Lansing.
Now the top Democrat in the Michigan senate wants the governor to fire the district's emergency manager.
The senate Democratic leader, Jim Ananich, does not think very highly about the performance of DPS emergency manger Darnell Early.
"You have a guy who's failed in Saginaw," said Ananich. "Provided people with poisonous water in Flint, and now we're asking him to give him $70 million a year to fix our schools. You know, I have a real big problem with that."
Early is helping the governor sell a plan that would pump $700 million in state support into the district to eradicate the deficit, but if Ananich wants him fired, he could sit on his eleven votes and he could make it tougher for the governor to pass his package, if Early is not fired.
"I'd get him a one way bus pass out of Michigan, and get him the heck out of here," Ananich said. "Because all he's done is fail at everything he's done, and I said 'there's no point in being a part of any solution', because he's unable to do it."
On top of that, the governor has severe challenges in the Michigan House, where neither of the two leaders have signed off on this deal. The top Republican leader warns it will take a lot of work to understand what the governor wants, and it's not going to fly through the house.
"It's going to be a challenge," said Kevin Cotter, the Republican house speaker. "I wouldn't say with certainty one way or the other, it's going to be a challenge. But at the same time, this problem, much like the issue of road funding, isn't one that just goes away. It actually gets worse over time."
Republicans and Democrats are telling the governor they do not want to divert money from other schools and give it to Detroit.
"The one thing that we will not do is go along with any plan that jeopardizes or hurts funding for other school districts in the state," said Tim Greimel, the Democrat house leader.
Add this all up, and the governor has a tough job trying to pour state support into the classrooms in Detroit, and he wants it done by the end of the year. Given that it took four years for lawmakers to pass a road package, getting the DPS deal done by the end of the year may be a stretch.