One step forward, two steps backwards! Unfortunately, that seems to be the never-ending saga of the Detroit Public Schools.
Recently, retired and respected bankruptcy Judge Steven Rhodes took over as transition manager of DPS. He quickly recruited Detroiter Alycia Meriwether as interim superintendent. At their urging, the Michigan Legislature passed nearly $49 million in emergency funding to keep the school system operating this year. That’s the good news!
But then a bomb shell of bad news. Twelve one-time principals, an administrator and a vendor charged with running a $1 million school supplies bribery and kickback scheme. This was allegedly done over 13 years…extremely disappointing!
And the timing could not have been worse. Currently before Lansing lawmakers is Governor Snyder’s whopping $715 million long-term plan to overhaul DPS. Many in state government are nervous about putting that amount of tax dollars into the 47-thousand student system. And, for good reason, another Detroit schools scandal just adds to the distrust.
Still, we urge the Michigan Legislature to put its trust in our judicial system to do its job. Responsible auditing and financial oversight is a must. And remember, your job is to make sure that all Michigan public school children – including those in Detroit – have equal access to a quality education. Their future is at stake!
I’m Mike Murr, Vice President & General Manager
Broadcast: April 7 - 10, 2016