Snyder reveals $700 million plan to save Detroit Public Schools

About $715 million, that's how many tax dollars it will take to wipe out debt at Detroit Public Schools and start fresh.

Gov. Rick Snyder announced details of the massive overhaul Monday.

"This is a critically important issue because we're talking about the lives of thousands and thousands of children," Snyder said.

But his plan to create a debt-free district will cost about $715 million over a decade.

"Roughly 70 million dollars a year over 10 years," he said.

Snyder says the legislation for this plan works toward a system that is financially sound and offers Detroit parents access to quality schools.

The legislative package includes creating a new traditional public school district.

"It would take teachers, contracts, healthcare, operations, computers and students," he said. "All of that except for the debt would move to the new school district."

The new district will be governed by a seven-member board, initially appointed by the Governor and Detroit's mayor. The plan also calls for creating a Detroit Education Commission with a Chief Education Officer.

"The role of this Detroit Education Commission is to create more transparency if a school is not performing up to expected levels, it could essentially close those schools," Snyder said.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency  Manager said in a statement that Governor Snyder's plan to "reform the education landscape in Detroit, including a transformation of Detroit Public Schools into a more financially stable new district without the burden of debt, represents the best way forward for the District and the children it serves."

But the American Federation of Teachers Michigan did voice some concerns.

"We would like to see locally controlled school board in Detroit," said Nate Walker of AFT Michigan.

Detroit's Mayor Mike Duggan has said he wants to return to a duly elected school board but wants to review Snyder's plan before commenting.

"I'm going to sit down with Detroit legislators in the next week consult with them," Duggan said. "I'll have a response next week."

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