Mayor Duggan fights for role in DPS fix

- Detroit Public Schools are in need of a fast fix but one problem still remains: how will it get done. Leaders can't agree on how to get it done and now, Mayor Mike Duggan is weighing in on the problem.

Mayor Mike Duggan took on the issue in his State of the City address that state control of DPS just isn't working. He said some Charter schools are no better and the legislature is not moving. But what's the holdup?

"You have a lot of people with a lot of different ideas and you have a governor distracted with other issues so all of that might be working against us," Duggan said.

The 'other issues' he's talking about are Flint. And the other ideas? Well, the governor has a plan to fix DPS, but so do Republicans and Democrats.

"All we got to do is we got to get to 20 votes in the Senate and 56 votes in the House - for a reasonable plan. We'll start in the Senate," Duggan said. "The governor and I are alligned in the lobbying right now and I think some of the charter operators coming around."

So is that progress? Maybe. At a session of the Detroit Regional Chamber's Detroit policy conference, most agree that the state should pay the $700+ million DPS Debt, but where does the money come from? Clark Durant is the Founder of Cornerstone Schools and says that money should be in the state's budget for the year.

"All kids are important and this money is in that budget or needs to be in that budget from sources that don't penalize other schools," Durant said.

Assuming the state gets the money from somewhere, the governor's concept is for one entity to take care of the debt and the other entity to figure out the schools. For parent Arlyssa Heard, she wants to make sure nobody loses their job.

"One of my main concerns that I'm concerned about with is the collective bargaining for teachers. I don't want anybody to be out of a job," Heard said

Today, Detroiters don't have a vote in their schools but that could change soon.

"I don't know about the end of the year I hope they can I think there can be an elected school board," Durant said.

Someone has to take charge and Mayor Duggan agrees that it should be done on a local level.

"I believe in local control and I think 20 years from now, the mayor of Detroit should be the person signing off on schools and where they're lcoated so that we avoid this craziness of several in one area and another area with no schools at all."

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