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No vote held at EMU on future of EAA

Posted at 6:22 PM, Dec 08, 2015

Protesters say it is anti-democratic, racist, and hurting kids. They called on Eastern Michigan University to sever ties with the controversial district made up of failing schools in Detroit known as the Education Achievement Authority.

During a Board of Regents meeting Tuesday at EMU, regents decided to simply not vote on the issue.

Why wouldn’t they take a stand? 

It appears to be in part about politics. Governor Rick Snyder created the EAA. The governor also appointed most of the EAA regents.

When asked why they didn’t vote Regent Mike Morris said, “What we wouldn’t want to do is put an end to something that could be important in the negotiations going on in Lansing.”

He is talking about negotiations between Snyder and the Legislature as they work on a plan to restructure Detroit Schools and address their looming debt.

“Voting to leave would be easy. Staying and continuing to fight for the future of these kids is the right thing to do,” said Morris.

Protesters disagree. Many are Detroiters who want local control of public schools.

“Our children are being denied a quality education,” said Helen Moore.

Moore says the academic results don’t justify the formation of the EAA. Kids aren’t doing as well as they should be.

To that point, Regent Morris pointed out that three EAA schools are seeing progress. The schools are no longer considered failing.

“Three schools out of fifteen,” said Helen Moore in response to his statement. “I wouldn’t brag.”

Other protesters include faculty who say the EAA partnership harms EMU’s reputation and students who say they are losing out. 

Some public school districts allegedly are withholding opportunities from EMU students in protest of the deal.