Skubick: The melodrama over attempts to save Detroit Public Schools

You remember the vintage WWII film footage of airplanes being shot out of mid air and going down in flames thanks to enemy fire.

In the current legislative melodrama over attempts to save the Detroit Public Schools, the part of the aircraft is played by Gov. Rick Snyder and, in this case, it is friendly in-coming fire complements of the House GOP caucus.

He proposed spending $72 million a year to buy down the DPS debt and, quicker than you can say Audie Murphy, those Republicans shot it down.

But in a totally unexpected and significant plot twist, both sides may put the plane back together.

Surely, you jest?

Read on.

When the governor first proposed this idea, at the head of line denouncing it was House GOP Speaker Kevin Cotter who lectured the governor, without mentioning him by name, that the school aid fund was not designed to bailout failing school districts especially those that got itself into this financial mess due to their own mismanagement. He did not mention Detroit by name but he didn't have to.

After reading that , one came away with the notion that Mr. Cotter was never going to budge.

And then the other day, ever so slightly, he did.

Turns out he has not ruled out state financial assistance to DPS but to be sure there are pre requisites strings attached.

Using the term Grand Bargain that was cobbled together to help get the City of Detroit out of bankruptcy, the Mt. Pleasant Republican fathoms a similar Grand Bargain for the schools but if and only if, some major reforms in the district come first.

Saying "I want to change the conversation" from money to accountability, Mr.Cotter is not about to willy - nilly write a check with your tax dollars to funnel into the Detroit Schools where it would be spent on who knows what. Remember this was the school board that was fond of limos and expensive junkets before lawmakers reigned them in.

If the locals can clean-up their fiscal act, and if the state has some financial adult supervision over the spending there, Mr. Cotter is more than willing to talk about state assistance.

Which is just the opening the governor wants to hear. He has no objections to those strings and with the help of Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan, they just might get GOP support to do it if the other House Republicans can hold their fire long enough to consider this option one more time.

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