The dust is settling from last week’s passage of the State House’s DPS legislation package, which a Detroit Free Press editorial called “Good Enough”, but it’s not good enough. So, the people of Detroit and the state of Michigan, who are left to wonder, where do we go from here?
The Democrats and Republicans in both houses of the legislature are split on how much money should go to Detroit Public Schools and should there be reforms to support the state’s investment The Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, which is a diverse bi-partisan group of Detroit area business, parent, education, faith and community leaders that has never been assembled before to work together to develop reforms that strengthen charter and traditional public schools in Detroit. They lost to a special interest group of Michigan charter school organizations that didn’t have a problem spending millions of dollars to defeat well thought out bi-partisan legislation. They didn’t lose because their legislation was worse, they loss because the competition spent more money.
So where do Detroit’s parents and kids go from here? The current debt is being resolved, but what happens in the next five to ten years, when the district is in this position again? This legislation doesn’t implement any measure to make DPS more viable and sustainable. It is the end of the school year and families have to decide what is a good school for their child and whether that school will be good for that student for the next four to five years. Parents who have to look to their child’s longer-term future will continue to look for other options. That is why we call it school choice.
This will be problematic for Detroit charter schools as well. Charter schools don’t just compete against Detroit Public Schools, but they are competing against other charters, too. This is a problem because in many areas of the city there are schools literally sitting on top of each other.
Please read the following Detroit News article by Jonathan Oosting and Chad Livengood. This article gives you an idea of what the tug of war around this legislation has been like for the last two weeks. We will follow up more information on how we got to this point of being one of the worst urban school districts in the county and we will discuss, "Where do we go from here!"
To read more, click here.