Michigan AG Schuette sues to oust Detroit school board members
Attorney General Schuette sues to remove 7 Detroit school board members over election system
Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette says he's filed a legal request to remove seven of the 11 Detroit school board members from office and bar the entire board from acting as a government body.
Schuette says the seven were elected in districts, which state law only allows in districts large enough to qualify as first class. He says the Detroit Public Schools ceased to qualify in 2008.
Schuette says he filed the request Thursday in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Gov. Rick Snyder says in a statement that he welcomes Schuette's move, which lets Detroit schools emergency manager Roy Roberts continue his efforts to overhaul the district.
Roberts already has filed his own lawsuit in an attempt to keep the school board from making academic decisions, saying it would cause irreparable harm.
Detroit school board meets to make policy changes to district
The Detroit school board is moving to take academic control of DPS now that Public Act 4, which upholds Michigan's emergency manager law, will be on the November ballot.
Members met Thursday night to make major policy changes to the district. The school board believes Schuette's lawsuit is going nowhere.
They made policy changes including removing the city's worst performing schools from a special authority set up by the state to try and boost academic performance. That authority is for schools across the state with critically low academic performance.
In addition, the board moved to hire an interim superintendent, Dr. John Telfor, although they do not have power over the district’s purse strings. Telfor says he will accept $1 as payment for his services. The board also moved to rename several schools.
Do they have the power to do any of this? Maybe.
Board President Lamar Lemmons says when it comes to the state's lawsuits it "is an exercise in futility for them." Lemmons and the rest of the board are proceeding under the assumption they have and will have the power to institute academic control.
Steve Wasko, the communications director for the district, said he does not believe the board has the authority to enact some of the changes it’s making but that all will have to be decided in court.
When it comes to the start of the school year, there is a plan in place and it will be followed.