A Strong, Stable and Successful Community District for Detroit Schools
We aren’t going to let kids suffer the consequences of adult failure. We’re going to ensure they have a district that is financially solvent and academically strong.
That’s why we propose creating the Community District. This is a total solution that puts the kids first.
DPS is in debt, and it didn’t happen overnight.
Major debt problems and systemic administrative failures have put Detroit Public Schools on the brink of catastrophic bankruptcy, which could affect us all.
The district has suffered under decades of mismanagement, and the problems are so deeply rooted that they will require real and significant change.
Right now, debt obligations are soaking up $1,100 of DPS’ per-pupil funding. These are dollars that could be put to use purchasing books, restoring buildings, and investing in the future of these kids.
If nothing is done to reform Detroit Public Schools, the district could run out of operating revenue this summer. If a solution is not in place by fall, tens of thousands of Detroit children will be without a school to attend and will lose valuable classroom time.
Unlike the city of Detroit, DPS and the state would not benefit from a bankruptcy because it would shift liabilities onto other municipalities, hurting residents across Michigan.
If DPS were to go into formal bankruptcy proceedings, the state could be required to finance the following obligations:
- $1.5 billion in long-term qualified bonds
- $1.3 billion in net pension liabilities
- $464 million in short-term, non-qualified bonds/notes
- $196 million in school loan revolving fund
- $50 million in outstanding past due accounts payables
A Real Academic Future for Detroit’s Children
Financial responsibility and a stable administration are both key components to success, but we must make sure the district is responsible and thorough in academics and instruction.
If schools are not properly teaching Detroit children the tools they need for a successful future, those low-performing schools, charter or traditional, should be closed. House Republicans require persistently failing schools to close.
Academic reform is long past due. By transferring schools and children to a new administrative school system, we can allow our schools to start debt-free with funding available for the classroom.
Our plan is focused on Detroit’s teachers being among the best in the state, and compensated for their excellence. Only under the proper guidance will Detroit’s school children have a real chance at success.
Detroit Community Schools: Built to Succeed
Our plan makes certain the transition to the new district will be thoughtful and meaningful. A new school board will be elected in November 2017, and take office January 2018. The transition manager will operate the schools in the interim.
The CD board will be required to take training in finances and governing, and will have considerable flexibility to hire through certification waivers and attract the best possible teachers through merit pay. Experienced, informed leadership and quality educators are what Detroit’s kids need.
The creation of the Community District (CD) is the start of a brand new era for education in Detroit.
We have to take significant, positive action to solve a major problem at the root of our state’s most populated city.
CD will not be a second DPS. This is a comprehensive bill package that will energize the state of education in
Detroit. We are going to establish a strong foundation for the educational future of Detroit’s children and the system that provides for it.
By transferring schools and children to a brand new administrative school system, we can allow our schools to start debt-free with funding available for the classroom.
Detroit Public Schools will remain as an entity with the primary function of paying off $467 million in debt that the district accrued until the full amount is paid off.
All other districts and the School Aid Fund, itself, will be held harmless.
We’re ensuring that Michigan taxpayers don’t pay the price for DPS’ past failures.