Mayor Duggan: House Detroit Public Schools plan ‘a waste of $500 million’
Lansing — Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan met with more than a dozen legislators Wednesday night at the Michigan Capitol as House Republicans considered a $500 million plan to save Detroit Public Schools from debt, urging members to instead support the Senate’s $715 million package.
The House legislation does not include the Detroit Education Commission, as approved by the Senate and backed by Duggan, Gov. Rick Snyder and a broad coalition of city stakeholders. Without the commission, an appointed body that would regulate the opening of traditional public and charter schools in Detroit, the House plan would do little to improve the city’s education system, Duggan told The Detroit News.
“I think they will send $500 million down with no change in teaching in the classroom, and I think it will end up being a waste of $500 million,” he said. “I think that sending money without reform isn’t the solution.”
Supporters say the commission would steer schools toward underserved areas of the city and avoid unnecessary duplication. But charter school advocates fear the commission would ultimately limit charter schools to ensure enrollment in the traditional district.