Senate majority leader says no more EM or EAA for DPS, hearings today

By Mara MacDonald - Reporter

LANSING, Mich. - Time and money are running out for the beleaguered Detroit Public Schools.

The district  is set to run out of money in two months as debt payments continue to climb. 

The Michigan Senate will start a series of hearings Thursday morning on how to fix the mess.

“We have 47,000 kids in Detroit Public Schools with a system that has failed them,” said Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof. 

Meekhof is now quarterbacking to find a solution and actually get it through the Senate, which will be a tough sell in a Legislature that already has Detroit fatigue after coming up with hundreds of millions of dollars to help backfill Detroit pensioners and save the collection at the DIA.

Meekhof says the status quo is clearly not working.

His preference would be to see DPS split into two entities: One would be old DPS which would simply be the $700 million debt, the other would be the school district run by the elected school board and an education achievement officer, but overseen by a financial review commission. Local control would be restored, with no Emergency Manager of Education Achievement Authority District for low performing schools.

Mayor Mike Duggan and others are set to testify in front of a Senate committee Thursday morning.

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