$50 million bill for DPS a 'quick fix' parents & transition manager say

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In less than a month, Detroit schools will be out of cash, which means no way to pay the bills, let alone teachers. But what about the students? They're the ones who need the schools the most and they're going to suffer the most if the state lets DPS go belly up.

The state needs to approve a bill to provide funding for DPS before April 8. If they don't sign the bill, there's no fall back plan, according to Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes.

"We have no plan B if we don't get a $50 million supplemental appropriation by April 8th," Rhodes said.

Rhodes was at a DPS event on Friday and spoke with representative Leslie Love. He would not say if that talk was about DPS or if there was any progress made.

"I would prefer to keep my conversations with the representative confidential," Rhodes said. "Very confident [a deal will get done] because I believe this legislature understands its constitutional, and moral obligation to educate every child in this state."

For now, Detroit parents and teachers are in the middle. Parents like Wiytrice Harris with the organization 482-Forward. She's a Detroit parent who wants change for the long term.

"We've been in limbo for quite some time," Harris said. "We need to look at the entire issue of what's going on in the Detroit schools and the chaos and actually get some legislation passed that can actually help these situations. I think the Senate has looked at it very seriously. The house bills we do not agree with at all, and I think we need to look at those senate bills and figure how we can get our schools out of it."

The district needs $50 million to stay afloat for now but even if a deal does get done, it would only be a bandage on the bigger problem.

"We're going to continue to have these quick fixes until we have some local control that addresses the entire educational landscape of Detroit," Harris said.

Rhodes maintains that he's in the position with one goal only: to restore power to local control.

"I have told the governor that I'm not another emergency manager. I'm not here to be a babysitter or a care taker. I'm only here to return local control over, public education in Detroit to the people of the City of Detroit," he said.

Lawmakers have said they hope to have a deal done before they go on spring break later this month.