Detroit School Board votes to end contract with Education Achievement Authority

DETROIT (WXYZ) - At a special Detroit School Board meeting on Tuesday night, members voted to cancel the district's contract with Eastern Michigan University and withdraw from the Education Achievement Authority contingent on the certification of the election results and a judge's approval.

The EAA  is a new statewide district launched in the fall that was to assume operation of the lowest performing 5 percent of schools in Michigan over the next three years. The schools from Detroit were the first to be put into the district. If the decision is approved, the board will end the EAA after this school year however the School Board President says the children in the EAA schools would stay in those schools until the end of the school year.

Also on the docket was a discussion about the seven school board members who are scheduled to appear in court Wednesday. In August, Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette filed a lawsuit to remove seven Detroit school board members who, he says, were elected in violation of the state law.

According to a release from the Michigan Attorney General's Office, the seven members were elected in separate districts, but the AG says the current law requires the school board to have an at-large election, meaning the members had to have been elected by the city as a whole.

Not on the agenda was the future of the district's Emergency Financial Manger Roy Roberts, but some parents during public comment called for his departure.

Roberts has reportedly sent not one, but two letters to the board asking for a meeting to discuss the future of the district, keeping the children of the district in mind. The board president says he will meet with Roberts, but he adds that Roberts should end his tenure with the district. Roberts contract runs until May of next year.

On Wednesday, the Detroit teachers union will hold a press conference to announce legal actions against Detroit Public Schools for what the union says was the improper layoff of teachers at the start of the 2012 school year. The conference will be held at 10:30 a.m. at the DFT hall.

And finally at Tuesday night's meeting the interim superintendent, Dr. John Telford says he has a plan to cut some top level jobs in the district.  He says there are too many high paying people in between the principals at the schools and the superintendent. The plan hinges of course on what lies ahead for the district in regards to the Emergency Financial Manager because he has the say as to where the district's money is spent.

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