Did DPS mislead public about cuts?

Posted at 6:51 PM, Jan 27, 2016
and last updated 2016-01-27 21:24:11-05

Lawmakers are voicing shock at what 7 Action News found when we looked closely at the financial reports sent by Detroit Public Schools to Lansing.

“I am rarely at a loss for words. It is criminal,” said Sen. Coleman Young II (D-Detroit).

The reports listed human resources cuts made in the school district. It specifically said the district eliminated Chief Innovation Officer Lamont Satchel’s position.  He had a contract worth more than $160,000. 

It wasn’t true.

“He is still in the district?” exclaimed Young. “He is still in the district.  I thought he had been gone!”

Earley has said he drastically cut the size of administration.

“We reduced Central Office by over 100 positions,” said Earley.

The numbers don’t add up.  Earley has added almost as many positions as he cut. Looking specifically at Central Office, he cut 77 positions and added 62.  That works out to 15 jobs cut. That is according to his own reports sent to Lansing.

Senator Rick Jones (R-24th District) says it raises concerns as lawmakers work on legislation to give DPS funding to avoid bankruptcy.

“They didn’t downsize. That is what they had to do. The administration is at fault for that. And they are some of the highest paid people in the country.  That is outrageous. They should cut their wages in half until the problem is fixed,” said Sen. Jones.

Senator Jones says he supports giving DPS money to avoid bankruptcy. He says it saves taxpayers’ dollars. A DPS bankruptcy would cost taxpayers more than a billion dollars.  He is going to want oversight.

Senator Young wants the bill adjusted to provide more funding for academic programs to help Detroit kids hurt by the current school system to catch up.

In the meantime, he says emergency manager Darnell Earley has lost credibility with him.

“That is just beyond belief for me. It is time for him to go. I don’t care how.  Plane, train, automobile. You can strap a rocket on his back if you want to.  I really don’t give a damn. It is time for him to go,” said Young.