Instability causes staff at a Detroit charter school to re-apply for their jobs for second year in a row. Detroit-based charter management companies InspirED Education and New Urban Learning signed a settlement agreement with the Michigan Alliance of Charter Teachers and Staff and the American Federation of Teachers at the end of last month, impelling the management companies to bargain with the staff at University YES Academy (UYA), a charter school on Detroit's northwest side.
But any celebration amongst staff over the promised bargaining is short-lived. The school board has decided to hire a new management company for next year, a move that not only invalidates any bargaining between staff and the companies, but also means all teachers will be terminated and must re-apply for their jobs. In other words, there very things staff was fighting for — teacher voice and stability — are once again hanging in the balance. School choice gutted Detroit’s public schools. The rest of the country is next. – VICE News.
It was a chilly afternoon in April 2013 when Roy Roberts, a former GM executive now charged with righting the struggling Detroit Public Schools, appeared in the auditorium of Oakman Elementary/Orthopedic, a school on the city’s northwest side.
Roberts had arrived with an entourage of district officials and he didn’t waste any time with small talk. “We’ll be closing Northwestern,” he announced. About a dozen parents were there, among them Aliya Moore, the president of the parents’ organization. Moore’s older daughter, Chrishawana, was in fifth grade and her final year at the school, where she’d been since kindergarten. Her youngest, Tylyia, just a toddler at the time, had become a fixture on the campus, often seen coloring in the back of one of the kindergarten classrooms. Now she and the other parents looked at Roberts, perplexed. READ MORE: Amina, a Somali refugee, was about to reunite with her son, Mohamed, after nearly two years apart.
Michigan cyber schools fight Snyder’s proposed aid cut. Lansing — Opposition is building to Gov.
Rick Snyder’s plan to cut funding for Michigan charter cyber schools — five years after championing their expansion — and pump the extra money into brick-and-mortar high schools. It comes as standardized test scores show students at Michigan cyber schools, many operated by for-profit management companies, are consistently underperforming their peers. Snyder argues the cyber schools should be able to offer a high-quality education at more affordable prices because they spend next to nothing on buildings and buses that can be costly for traditional schools. Feds: 12 Detroit principals stole $1M in kickback scheme. Four weeks into the school year, DPS is facing a shortage of teachers.
Some classes are overcrowded as a result. Ann Zaniewski Detroit Free Press In its latest crackdown on school corruption in Detroit, the federal government today dropped a legal bomb on 12 current and former principals, one administrator and a vendor — all of them charged with running a nearly $1-million bribery and kickback scheme involving school supplies that were rarely ever delivered.
At the heart of the alleged scheme is businessman Norman Shy, 74, of Franklin, who is accused of paying $908,500 in kickbacks and bribes to at least 12 Detroit Public Schools principals who used him as a school supply vendor in exchange for money — some for as little as $4,000, another for $324,000. He secretly did this for 13 years, scamming school after school to the tune of $2.7 million with the help of principals who benefited along the way, prosecutors allege.
Detroit teachers urged to return following pay guarantee. Detroit Federation of Teachers interim President Ivy Bailey received a letter with the promise from the state-appointed emergency manager for the district, retired Judge Steven Rhodes.
The union encouraged employees to go back to school Wednesday after a membership meeting Tuesday afternoon. All but three of Detroit's 97 schools were closed again Tuesday, the second day of teacher protests over concerns educators would go unpaid by the city's financially ailing school district. Rhodes, in a statement issued by Detroit Public Schools, said teachers are entitled to be paid in full, regardless of their pay schedule.
Michigan lawmakers have been working a long-term solution for the district's debt, overcrowding and low student performance. "We're putting a Band-Aid on a gunshot wound over and over and over again because we don't have accurate numbers, and the state is responsible for this district currently. But they received a new assurance late Tuesday. Anatomy of Detroit’s Decline - Interactive Feature. Mayor Coleman A. Young of Detroit at an event in 1980. Richard Sheinwald/Associated Press The financial crisis facing Detroit was decades in the making, caused in part by a trail of missteps, suspected corruption and inaction. Here is a sampling of some city leaders who trimmed too little, too late and, rather than tackling problems head on, hoped that deep-rooted structural problems would turn out to be cyclical downturns.
Charles E. Edward Jeffries, who served as mayor from 1940 to 1948, developed the Detroit Plan, which involved razing 100 blighted acres and preparing the land for redevelopment. Snyder: Cut funding for cyber charter schools. Cyber charter schools could see their funding cut under a budget proposal released today by Gov.
Rick Snyder. The funding cut, if approved by the Legislature, would acknowledge that cyber schools don't have the same costs as traditional schools that operate in school buildings. But the move is already being criticized by charter school advocates — something state officials anticipated. "We knew when we were putting this budget together that this would be one of the areas that would create discussion ... with the Legislature and with stakeholders," said Kurt Weiss, spokesman for the state Department of Technology, Management and Budget. The budget bill Snyder presented, part of his budget proposal for the 2018-19 fiscal year, calls for cyber charters to receive 80% of the per-pupil grant they would normally receive.
Read more: The move is expected to save the state $16 million. The Crisis In Detroit Is Worse Than A Recession. Why Detroit schools are crumbling - look at state's funding foundation. Eli Savit Eli Savit is an appellate attorney with a subspeciality in education law and a former eighth-grade U.S. history teacher.
He lives in Ann Arbor. Michigan Says 38 Underperforming Public Schools Could Close. LANSING (WWJ/AP) — Michigan announced Friday that it plans to close up to 38 underperforming schools in Detroit and other urban communities, potentially affecting 18,000 students and marking the first time that the state could close traditional public schools explicitly for academic reasons.
Despite the announcement, some schools likely will remain open. State officials next will determine whether a closure would be an “unreasonable hardship” for children with no better schools to attend. Lawsuits challenging any closures also are likely.
Detroit schools can't pay staff after April 8, lawmakers told. Detroit Public Schools can only afford to pay its employees for the work they do through April 8 and needs $50 million in immediate aid, the district's transition manager said today.
Steven Rhodes and new Superintendent Alycia Meriweather testified before a state House Appropriations Committee hearing on proposed legislation that would restructure the debt-ridden district. Lawmakers have been talking for several weeks but remain unable to agree on a plan. Speaking to reporters after the hearing, Rhodes reiterated that bankruptcy isn't a good option because the vast majority of the district's debts are secured or guaranteed by the state.
Officials have warned for months that DPS, with its $515 million in operating debt, was in danger of running out of cash this spring. "We can pay employees for the work they do through April 8, but not after that. ... Another, more controversial package of bills in the House would also split the district in two. Gov. Read or Share this story:
School Conditions. Charter Schools. Flint’s Former Manager Resigns as Head of Detroit Schools. Detroit Public Schools: Who's Failing? IT’S NO SECRET that the Detroit Public Schools have been in a state of chaos for some time. When former Democratic governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Robert Bobb as Emergency Financial Manager in 2009, many hoped that he would make positive changes. The district was carrying a $219 million deficit, not to mention some of the country’s lowest graduation rates and standardized test scores. Bobb immediately began calling out fraud and embezzlement and taking a much-needed critical look at how resources were being allocated within the district. Detroit disputes claim that it will voluntarily close some schools. Michigan State School Superintendent Brian Whiston says the Detroit Public Schools Community District plans to voluntarily shut down some of the schools that the state has identified for potential closure, but Detroit's interim school superintendent says that's not correct.
The Detroit Free Press reports that Interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather says the the only Detroit school that is closing is one that the district has previously announced—Durfee Elementary-Middle School. In addition, Meriweather says, the Detroit school board has voted to close a building that houses Turning Points Academy, but that special education program is not ending, just moving to another location. Fixing Detroit’s Broken School System: Improve accountability and oversight for district and charter schools. Detroit is a classic story of a once-thriving city that has lost its employment base, its upper and middle classes, and much of its hope for the future. The city has been on a long, slow decline for decades. It’s difficult to convey the postapocalyptic nature of Detroit. Miles upon miles of abandoned houses are in piles of rot and ashes.
Unemployment, violent crime, and decades of underinvestment have led to a near-complete breakdown of civic infrastructure: the roads are terrible, the police are understaffed, and there is a deeply insufficient social safety net. There are new federal funds and private investment being directed to Detroit’s renewal.