Detroit Schools File Lawsuit Against Michigan

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

Here's another blow against the Snyder administration.

The Detroit Public Schools system has filed a federal lawsuit against the state of Michigan because, among other reasons, their facilities are falling apart.

The school system's lawsuit is focused on the emergency management of the system that has left Detroit schools quite literally rotting in a financial hole.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder had to sign legislation providing $48.7 million in emergency funding to keep the school system going through the end of the school year. DPS’ payments to service its loans ballooned to $26 million each month recently, causing school district officials to worry about the possibility of bankruptcy by April. Teachers and parents are also worried about the conditions students are learning in. Teachers protested these conditions, which included moldy or rotten cafeteria food, ceiling leaks, warped floors, dead rodents, and bathrooms that appear uninhabitable, by calling in sick for work and demonstrating.

The school system seeks to have control of the system returned to the local elected board of education rather than the unelected board of officials who've driven the system into the ground.

While emergency management is somewhat unique to Michigan, Detroit schools are hardly alone in their fight against the state. School systems in other states such as Kansas have been forced to sue the state in an effort to acquire more funding.

To be fair, to the best of my knowledge the schools in Kansas are not literally rotting as they are in Detroit.

Properly funding education simply isn't a priority for Republican lawmakers. In some cases they must be forced by a court to do so.

  • Badgerite

    I think the Emergency Management law it just the modern GOP version of debtors prison. Seems to have roughly the same effect.

  • muselet

    The lawyer working on the case, Thomas Bleakley, pointed out that during that time [prior to the appointment of an emergency manager] the district had a near $100 surplus when the 1999 takeover happened and academic achievement has declined since.

    (I assume there was a word, presumably “million,” deleted after “$100” in that sentence.)

    There are a thousand reasons for Michigan to end its failed experiment of emergency management. This is just one of them.