Michigan House committee approves $48M for Detroit schools

A Michigan House committee has approved $48.7 million in supplemental aid on Wednesday for the Detroit Public Schools after the district's state-appointed manager warned teachers might not be paid after April 8.

The committee passed two bills in a broader package designed to overhaul the financially struggling school system that is hundreds of millions of dollars in debt. Described by one Democrat on the committee as "emergency" legislation, the measure now goes to the House floor for consideration.

House Appropriations Committee chairman Al Pscholka, R-Stevensville, said the money will come from the state's tobacco settlement fund and not a loan.

The Republican representative also acknowledged the urgency of the situation. He said the bills are meant to keep the schools open, and told Democrats during the committee meeting that contentious portions of the legislation would be worked out and debated on the House floor after Democrats failed to gain support for a number of amendments they introduced.

"This is not the final solution," Pscholka said.

Detroit schools' manager Steven Rhodes said last week that he couldn't "in good conscience" ask teachers to continue working without assuring them that they'll be paid.