Should Mayor Mike Duggan take control of Detroit Schools?

He's leading Detroit's turnaround, now some want Mayor Mike Duggan to take control of the city's failing school system.  A special reform panel hoping to turnaround the district could hand Duggan new powers to get the job done. That's just one of the recommendations from a special reform panel.

As if the mayor of Detroit does not have enough to do guiding his city out of bankruptcy, now comes possible recommendations that could turn him into a so-called single authorizer of charter schools in the city.

The mayor thinks there are too many entities creating charter schools and if a recommendation is made, the mayor could have these powers to close schools, assuming the panel makes that recommendation. He could also open new ones in other parts of the city. The Detroit City Council would not share in this power and a new school board would be elected to conduct the day-to-day operations of the public schools, but the mayor could have a role in that as well, at this time, that's unclear.

This is clear, this senator favors the mayor's role.

"I think so, if I were the City of Detroit's mayor, I would want that role and responsibility," said Sen. Bert Johnson, (D-Highland Park), "You don't bring the city of Detroit back unless you bring back the schools.

But this Detroit senator offers ...

"Its something I want to look at cautiously, but as far as I'm concerned, I just don't think that's the right thing to do," said Sen. Coleman Young, Jr., (D-Detroit).

If you gave some greater role to the mayor what would happen?

"I think that he would have more control over some things, but in the long term the school district would lose its voice. I think in the long term the school board would lose its voice," said Sen. Young. 

The governor on the role of the mayor in Detroit schools.

"This is part of the coalition effort, they're discussing lots of things," said Gov. Rick Snyder. "The mayor is part of that dialogue so we'll see how the coalition report comes out."

The citizen's panel may also ask for more state support. The senate republican leader says that would be a tough sell.

"That will be difficult in this situation that we're in with the budget. I don't know if my colleagues are ready. I don't know if everybody wants to take on added debt for people who have made bad decisions. It's yet to be seen," said Sen. Arlan Meekhof, (R-Senate Leader).

The governor will make his own recommendations on solving the school problem in Detroit, but first he wants to see the final recommendations from the citizen's panel. There could be a final vote on all that this week. The governor meanwhile. will wait to see the report before he makes his own recommendation.
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