Governor Rick Snyder signed the so called, Detroit Schools Bailout Package this week, which is a bill he did not originally support. He always supported the financial support for Detroit Public Schools, but wanted to see more education reforms such as the DEC and accountability systems to hold all schools in Detroit accountable, traditional and public charter schools.
But to keep Detroit schools from imploding, the Governor signed what he could get. Between the issues with Detroit education and the Flint water crises, the Governor does not have much clout or pull to get anything done. Also, this bill signing goes against the Governor’s team work with Detroiters who he approached to work together to improve education in Detroit. He sat down with Detroit Mayor Duggan, teacher unions, Detroit legislators and the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren when this process started last year. Mind you. He asked everyone to come together to work with him. None of these groups like what was signed.
The problem with the legislation is that it is a short term fix. It is great that funds are being allocated to right DPS’ sinking ship. But it is a band-aid that doesn’t fix any of the systemic issues that Detroit schools have endured for quite a long time. There is not a system to help parents navigate the maze of multiple school entities that are all over the city or manage the logistics between the charter and traditional public schools. This confusion will allow this ship to sink in the near future, unless the focus on education reform in Michigan is centered around what empowers students and not adults. Education will continue to deteriorate in Detroit as well as the state of Michigan.
Please read Education Week’s article on the Governor’s bill signing by Corey Mitchell. It tells you where things are now, but in the near future Education Post will be telling more of the story and show how it affects our parents and children.
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