State lawmakers can't risk Detroit schools collapse

By Mike Renda, General Manager

Michigan legislators surprised many last week by getting something significant done on our state's crumbling roads.

And there is a reason legislation worth more than a billion dollars finally went through after years of kicking the can down the road. It is because the voters of Michigan sent the legislature a loud and clear message in the roads referendum last May.

That message being, quit messing around and do your job for God's sake.

The road plan is not perfect but in the end, Democratic and Republican legislators did what they were elected to do pass effective legislation.

Now, with the roads log-jam out of the way, legislators need to stay productive and move directly to the next big issue, the fate of the Detroit Public Schools.

Earlier this month I called for the legislature to consider Gov. Rick Snyder's plan, one that calls for more than $700 million over 10 years to deal directly with the historic problems that have plagued the Detroit Public Schools.

This includes debt relief for the current district and creates a commission that will hire a local chief education officer who would be given extraordinary powers including responsibility for holding each individual school accountable.

The same approach that our legislators finally took on roads needs to be taken with respect to our Detroit Public Schools.

Both sides must come together and get behind the governor's plan to give the community a solid public school system one that offers Detroit students better opportunities for the future.

If lawmakers backslide into partisan posturing and bickering, we risk a total collapse of Detroit schools. So time is of the essence no more games- let's get it done now.

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