Behind the Headline: Bills to Restructure Detroit K-12 District Finally Proposed

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Bills to Restructure Detroit K-12 District Finally Proposed
Associated Press | 1/14/16

Behind the Headline
Fixing Detroit’s Broken School System
Education Next | Winter 2015

Legislation that would create a new state-overseen school district in Detroit to run schools and leave the old Detroit Public Schools district in existence only to collect taxes and retire its debt has been introduced. The plan to split the district in this way was proposed by Michigan governor Rick Snyder last year when the district had accumulated more than $500 million in operating debt.

Meanwhile, teachers in Detroit have staged a series of sickouts this week, shutting down roughly 2/3 of the district’s schools. The teachers are angry about large classes, low pay, and reduced benefits, among other things.

As Laura Moser writes in Slate, the district’s debt is preventing the school district from paying vendors.  “At the moment, $3,019 of the $7,296 per-pupil funding DPS gets from the state goes to debt services.”

An Ed Next article takes a deeper look at the school district’s problems and at some possible solutions.

— Education Next

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