House debates DPS funding

LANSING, Mich. – After two days of teacher sickouts, DPS students were back in class Wednesday and those sickouts seem to have given Lansing a fresh sense of urgency to get a bailout deal completed.

The Michigan House of Representatives was in session and the goal is to pass a seven bill package all at once, but there are not enough votes from the Democrats or the Republicans.

House Speaker Kevin Cotter spent much of Wednesday with members trying to get to the magic number of 56 votes.

The bill package falls at least $100 million short of what the governor asked for and the Senate passed.

Many Republicans said $500 million for a district that’s losing enrollment is a bad investment.

State Rep. Brian Banks (D-Detroit), head of the Detroit Delegation, said he was unhappy with the bill and he was downright furious.

“If you look at the house appropriations committee passing bills that don’t deal with the debt in its entirety, it’s just another method to set the district up for failure,” Banks said.

Cotter is motivated to get the bill done Wednesday night so a late night session could be underway.

While Detroit teachers believe they pressured the legislature to act with its sickouts this week, the house appears far from concerned beyond frustration over a lot of school kids weren’t educated or weren’t fed.

“We as a legislature, we have a responsibility to put all Michigan children first,” Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) said.

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