Tensions high as Detroit Public Schools transition manager lays out financial plan

Plan spells out challenges that need to be addressed in DPS

DETROIT – The man driving the bus for Detroit's Public Schools turnaround laid out his lesson plan.

Transition manager Judge Steven Rhodes put out his 45-day financial plan for the district and took questions from the public.

The 45-day financial plan presented Tuesday night spelled out the challenges that need to be addressed in DPS, primarily the district's massive debt, including both operational debt and legacy debt.

Read: Senate leaders, DPS parents hope House will reconsider funding

After the presentation, Rhodes took questions and It was obvious the information did not go over well. The audience let him have it.

"Stop telling lies and stop refusing to listen," one person said.

"How do you take performing arts out of an art school? Your dog and pony show that you showed today is bull crap," another person said.

Read: DPS manager says is schools don't get money, it'll be 'unimaginable'

"How in the hell are they paying you over $18,000 a month, which is the average city of Detroit retiree would make in a year for a part-time job, if it's not a payoff?" asked one person.

Read: District tells teacher union it's running out of cash June 30

There were many more comments like those, and several more questioning why Rhodes refused to meet with the Detroit Board of Education.

"When do you plan to give your report to the board of education?" one person asked.

"At this time I don't have any plans to meet with the elected school board," Rhodes said. "The best answer I can give you is what we've seen here this afternoon."

But by the end of the night, there was a change of heart.

"I recognize that it was probably a mistake not to meet with the elected school board before now, and there's  nothing to do now but to correct that mistake and to talk with them," Rhodes said.

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