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Michigan governor prepares plan for overhauling Detroit schools Detroit Public Schools

Michigan governor prepares plan for overhauling Detroit schools

Proposal would create separate entity that would be responsible for paying off the school district's massive debt.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder is expected to announce a plan for revamping Detroit's struggling public school system that would split the district into an "old company" and "new company," similar to the way General Motors Corp. was divided during its bankruptcy.

The Detroit News reports that the plan would first address the school system's persistent debt load, which includes $350 million of borrowing authorized under state emergency management. The old company — the existing Detroit Public Schools — would be established only to pay off the district's debt. It would do that by directing the 18 mills the district collects from a non-homestead tax to a fund that will steadily erase the debt load.

The second, new entity would be focused solely on educating the 47,000 students who still attend Detroit Public Schools. Snyder wants that system to be overseen by a new school board that he and Detroit Mayor Duggan would appoint.

A third piece of the plan calls for creating a Detroit Education Commission to oversee the entire Detroit public school landscape, which includes numerous charter schools and the campuses that are managed by the Education Achievement Authority, a reform district formed to turn around the city's lowest-performing traditional public schools. Snyder and Duggan also would be responsible for appointing commission members.

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