Duggan battling to increase Lansing DPS funding

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Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan is sitting down with lawmakers lobbying for more money for Detroit Public Schools.

Duggan, holed up in rooms like this, says he has spent about 200 hours with lawmakers trying to cultivate some common ground and he says he is getting there.

Holed up in a room like this, the mayor says he has spent about 200 hours with state lawmakers trying to cultivate some common ground and he's reporting he's getting there.

Tim Skubick: "Is common ground emerging?"

Duggan: "I think so, but time will tell over the next couple of weeks. We see the problems the same way, now we have to figure out how to see the solutions the same way."

To prove the mayor's point, here is the GOP chair of the house budget committee Al Pscholka. The House originally rejected the mayor's call for an extra $200 million for DPS.

The chair says he is now moving there.

"I think there could be middle ground, a landing spot for DPS," he said.

Skubick: "Are you willing to go the $200 million the governor wants?"

"That might be a little rich," Pscholka said. "I'm thinking closer to a number more like $100 or $120 (million)."

But there will be no compromise until and unless the mayor can guarantee that the state dollars will not be wasted.

Rep Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) reports his constituents want disciplined spending in DPS.

"(Discipline means) being very careful with the money that all the other states' taxpayers are contributing," he said.

The mayor wants accountability in the system and he warns lawmakers if they only spend about $500 million instead of $715 million, they will "blow the money."

"If you put $500-700 million into the same system, you'll get the same results, don't blow the money," Duggan said. "We need a standard for all the schools, charters and DPS together."

The question is can he get there.