Roy Roberts, emergency manager for Detroit schools, to step down

Read his letter to Detroit Public Schools staff

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Emergency Manager for Detroit Public Schools has announced he is stepping down from the position.

Roy Roberts has been the Emergency Manager for the schools for the last two years. Roberts says he is stepping down to spend more time with his wife and family.

He says he's told his wife Maureen before that he will retire, but says this time he means it.

Roberts released a letter announcing his decision to the Detroit Public Schools staff.


Dear Detroit Public Schools Staff:

After two years as Emergency Manager of Detroit Public Schools, I will be stepping down at the conclusion of my current contract on May 16, 2013. Unlike when I chose to take this position, my decision to leave was not an easy one for me. These last two years have been the most rewarding of my career.

I've had many amazing opportunities throughout my professional life, and my wife, Maureen, has been there along with me the entire way. In fact, when Gov. Snyder approached me about taking this position, we agreed together that we had to do this. It's now time for me to really listen to what it is that will make her happy and that is the two of us, along with our family, spending more time together. Every time I tell her that I'm going to retire, and I've done it two or three times now, she believes me. This time I mean it.

The confidence that I have in the leadership team that I have assembled is absolute. Their continued presence is important because it brings the district the stability that is critical to its future success. Together, along with 600 teachers, administrators, students, parents, clergy, community members and business and community partners, this team developed a 5-year strategic plan designed to create neighborhood-centered, quality schools.

I am certain that vision will become a reality because it is our collective vision.

In the interest of bringing further stability to the district and its leadership, I am pleased to announce that Chief Financial Officer William Aldridge will assume the added role of Chief Administrative Officer. In addition to continuing his strong financial stewardship of the district, as Chief Administrative Officer, Bill will take on the direct oversight of the Procurement and Logistics Department, as well as the Division of Technology and Information Services. Moving forward, his title will be Chief Financial and Administrative Officer.

We have made great strides toward eliminating our deficit and balancing the budget under Bill's financial leadership these last two years. However, in order for this forward momentum to be truly sustainable, the district must establish strong systems and processes and a sound operational model that will provide the district with the continuity that is critical to the turnaround of our school system and its return to local control in a timely manner.

The first major systems project that Bill is overseeing in his new role as Chief Financial and Administrative Officer is the procurement and implementation of the district's new human resources and finance computer system, which will provide the district with exponentially greater efficiency and effectiveness in these critical areas.

Working together these last two years, we have accomplished so very much. Academically, our performance continues to improve. And when we talk about success, this is where the rubber really hits the road. Parents want and need to know that their children will receive a quality education. Thanks to all of your hard work and your dedication to our children this is happening.

Financially, we still face serious challenges, but we are improving. We've put systems and processes into place that make it easier for us to achieve our goal of eliminating the remaining $76 million deficit by the end of the 2015-16 fiscal year, as outlined in the Deficit Reduction Plan approved by the State of Michigan. And, through shared sacrifice, we all have what I like to call, "A little skin in the game." We have all contributed not just financially, but through our blood, sweat and tears.

As it relates to my successor, I have made a recommendation to Gov. Snyder, but it is clearly his decision. I have every confidence that he will act thoughtfully and expeditiously to complete the transition process.
I can't thank you all enough for everything you do, day-in and day-out, to ensure that the children of Detroit receive the best education possible. I am truly honored to have worked with you and have no doubt that you will continue to do everything in your power to ensure the success of our students.

I'd like to end with a quote from Marian Wright Edelman, the president and founder of the Children's Defense Fund, that has guided my actions throughout these last two years, "If we don't stand up for children, then we don't stand for much."


Roy S. Roberts
Emergency Manager



Print this article Back to Top