Michigan Senate, House OK $48.7 million in emergency funding for DPS

LANSING, Mich. – The Michigan Senate and House on Thursday approved $48.7 million in emergency state funding for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) which will help the ailing district remain open the rest of the school year.

The Senate approved it with a 29-7 vote. It went back to the House where is was passed Thursday afternoon. The legislation now will head to Gov. Rick Snyder's desk for final approval. 

Lawmakers faced a Thursday deadline to act before their spring break. The district's state-appointed manager says without the aid, it will be unable to pay employees for work they do after April 8, four days before legislators return to Lansing.

The Republican-led Legislature is trying to resolve differences over tying the spending to legislation putting the district's finances under the oversight of a commission that already reviews city budgets post-bankruptcy.

The $48.7 million is a stopgap while GOP Gov. Rick Snyder presses the lawmakers to enact a larger restructuring plan to split the district and pay off massive operating debt over a decade.

DPS transition manager Judge Steven Rhodes released this statement after the legislation passed the Senate Thursday morning:

“The Michigan Senate has taken an important step in approving the $48.7 million supplemental appropriation that will provide the funds necessary for Detroit Public Schools to keep students and teachers in their classrooms through the end of this school year. We thank the Senate and its leadership for that.  We now request that the Michigan House of Representatives act swiftly to approve this critical funding to keep our schools open while it considers the broader $715 million education reform legislation.”

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