Snyder plan for Detroit Public Schools debt meets opposition

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to propose a new plan this week to deal with mounting debt in the Detroit public school district.

But if the plan is to use state dollars, it will likely run into stiff opposition in Lansing.

Legislative Republicans did vote for the grand bargain to save the city of Detroit but if Snyder wants more state aid for the schools, he may not get it.

"It seems like there is a constant desire to throw more money at a problem and that hasn't worked in years past," said Sen. Rick Jones (R-Grand Ledge). 

Snyder is considering keeping the old school board in place to reduce the debt but transfer the schools' day to day operations to new governing boards appointed by the governor and Mayor Mike Duggan.

Legislative Republicans want to see the details but on the money issue, at first blush ...

"I'm concerned about throwing money down a rabbit hole," said Sen. Jack Brandenburg (R-Macomb County). "Now if you can show me that the money is going to make schools safe and secure, I would support it."

One Detroit senator said that former Gov. John Engler created the debt when he abolished the Detroit school board years ago - hence, Republicans should help erase the debt now.

"They put people in there who raped, robbed, maimed, pillaged, and stole from school children," said Sen. Coleman Young (D-Detroit). "How bad is that. How scumbag of the earth do you have to be to steal from school kids."

Senate Democrats do not have enough votes to send state tax dollars to Detroit. 

If the governor's road package fails at the polls next week, he will need Democrats help to fix the roads. Then the Democrats will ask in return, aid for Detroit's schools.
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