Snyder's plan for DPS would be $72M for 10 years

A big piece of Gov. Rick Snyder's budget is saving Detroit Public Schools but he's promising other schools across the state the bailout won't hurt their bottom line.

In Snyder's original proposal, the school kids in Detroit would have indirectly received state dollars from all the others schools in the state. The education lobby did not like that.

But when the governor showed up Wednesday to release his new state budget, he asked lawmakers to leave the school aid fund alone for other schools and use the U.S. tobacco settlement money for DPS instead.

"That way when people talk across Michigan they can see these dollars would not be coming at the expense of their own school districts," Snyder said. "But would be coming out of specializing resources that tobacco settlement funds is what I'm proposing."

Democrats and Republicans are being asked to take $72 million a year for the next 10 years from the tobacco settlement to buy down the DPS deficit.

The governor is warning lawmakers if they don't do that, some judge could the state to spend $1.5 billion instead of $715 million.

Rep. Harvey Santana (D-Detroit) hopes his outstate GOP colleagues will go along with the plan.

"We have a really strong opportunity to improve education in the city of Detroit," Santana said. "I think their eyes are being opened up to a world that I don't think that they have ever seen before."

Meanwhile Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan continues to push for the creation of a Detroit Education Commission that would open and close local schools and he wants city residents to vote for a newly elected school board this August.

In a briefing with reporters, the governor said he needs to study the August alternative but he agrees with the mayor on restoring the Detroit Education Commission.

However the Republican chair of the House budget is not there yet. He says let's wait a little while on the election.

FOX 2: "Is it important that the people of Detroit get their elected school board back as soon as possible."

"I don't think as soon as possible," said Rep. Al Pscholka (R - House Budge Chair). "I think there needs to be a pathway to get there. But we have to make sure that the state's investment is protected as well."

FOX 2: "You would not favor an August vote to re-elect the board?"

"No," Pscholka said.

FOX 2: "But the mayor wants that."

"Too bad," Pscholka said.

Lawmakers continue to work on the DPS issue but no final deal has been reached.

But the GOP chair of the house budget committee is not ready to give the mayor what he wants but he does agree Detroiters should have their own elected school board but later rather than sooner.
 


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