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Detroit Charter School Advocates Oppose Commission to Regulate DPS

Detroit Charter School Advocates Oppose Commission to Regulate DPS

Funding problems in Detroit Public Schools are so severe that thousands of the district’s teachers chose to call-out sick from school twice last month to protest threats of not receiving earned salaries over the summer.

Sorting out the budget in Michigan’s legislature is crucial, but doing so is becoming an increasingly difficult process as groups struggle to agree.

For instance, “[t]he proposed Detroit Education Commission is part of a $715-million legislative fix for the collapsing Detroit Public Schools,” but “[o]pponents of the DEC and several key charter advocacy groups say the DEC would favor DPS over charters and take choice away from parents in the city,” said The Detroit Free Press.

The DEC is intended to serve as a way to centralize the fragmented system that currently oversees DPS. Funding problems aside, earlier this year DPS teachers took to social media to broadcast poor learning and working conditions that included buckling floors leaky pipes and mold.

According to The Detroit Free Press, the "commission would help establish an accountability system for schools in the city that would assign letter grades to schools based on academic achievement, improvement in academic achievement and other factors."

“The commission also would have authority over the openings of schools in the city. The only exception would be charter and traditional public schools that receive an A or B grade under the accountability system; they would be able to open new schools without the commission's approval.”

Detroit’s Mayor Mike Duggan is currently working to convince charter school advocates to get on board for the sake of the city’s students.

I’m 100% pro-school choice. And if you’re a quality charter school, you should love the DEC because it will expand your operations...But if you're running a poor charter school, you should be pretty concerned,” Duggan said, according to The Detroit Free Press.

The push-and-pull over the creation of the DEC is just an example of one of the many issues that have arisen in the fight to fix DPS.

Read the full story.

Nicole Gorman, Education World Contributor


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