Detroit School Board And Detroit Public Schools Battle For Control After EM Law Suspended

The Detroit School Board Is Back.. And The Power Struggle Begins
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In a May 16, 2011 file photo, Detroit schools emergency financial manager Roy Roberts tours Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit. The head of the Detroit Federation of Teachers has sent a memo to members saying union leadership wants Roberts to present a contract imposed without negotiations to the rank and file. The memo by union president Keith Johnson calls the agreement "a farce" and that it makes deeper cuts into benefits and working conditions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
In a May 16, 2011 file photo, Detroit schools emergency financial manager Roy Roberts tours Marcus Garvey Academy in Detroit. The head of the Detroit Federation of Teachers has sent a memo to members saying union leadership wants Roberts to present a contract imposed without negotiations to the rank and file. The memo by union president Keith Johnson calls the agreement "a farce" and that it makes deeper cuts into benefits and working conditions. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

The recent suspension of PA 4, Michigan's emergency manager law, has left confusion in its place.

While a referendum on the law is forthcoming, the Detroit and Highland Park School Boards wrestle for power and control with the state and its appointees.

According to the Detroit News, the Detroit Board of Education planned to meet Thursday evening to discuss the possibility of removing 15 schools from the new state-run Education Achievement Authority, though a district spokesman said revoking Public Act 4 would not affect the EAA.

This action comes after a recent ruling that suspended PA 4 until November, when voters will have the opportunity to vote to repeal the law. The school board in Detroit, which had been defunct, will regain some power under previous legislation. Detroit's Emergency Manager, Roy Roberts, is limited in his administrative and financial powers under an older law, PA 72, in his new role as the emergency financial manager of DPS.

The Detroit Free Press reports that Roberts and the state are reciprocating through legal action Roberts' attorneys filed a motion to take away the school board's decision-making power, and Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette told the paper he would sue the district to remove seven of 11 school board members because of declining enrollment.

Over in Highland Park, school board secretary Robert Davis sent a letter to the district's EM-turned-EFM Joyce Parker this week requesting she step down, the News reports. Parker is currently looking at a plan to partially privatize the district. Davis, who sued the state to remove emergency managers from Highland Park and DPS, was recently indicted on charges of stealing from his district.

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