The legislative battle in Lansing to eliminate the Detroit Public School deficit has turned into a fight between charter schools versus the mayor of Detroit and others who want the power to open and close charter schools.
Meanwhile, the Detroit Federation of Teachers, DFT, rallied at the state capitol to try and get lawmakers to approve funds to solve the district's budget crisis.
"Remove the lead pipes just like they did in Ann Arbor where the governor lives and his emergency manager Rhodes, get them out of Detroit and restore the democratic to the people," DPS math teacher Nichole Conaway said.
At least one charter school lobbyist believes the fight has come down to the charter schools vs. DPS and Detroit mayor Mike Duggan. Namely, his suggestion that a new commission be given the power to open and close all schools including charters.
"We don’t think that's necessary," lobbyist Gary Naeyert said. "It's not the case in any other city in the state and we think the mayor has plenty on his platter without worrying about school operations."
The head of the Michigan Federation Teachers counters the charters don’t want a cohesive system to run the Detroit schools.
"It's clear they don’t want to do that because it is more important to them to have the right to open and close whatever they want rather than have a coherent system that serves all kids," MFT President David Hecker said.
Meanwhile the reforms that these persons want are being hampered by reports that the DPS lost $30 million. Some Republicans have indicated they won't approve money for the school amid the news that the district doesn't know where $30 million that was supposed to go to the state's teacher pension fund went.