Michigan attorney general appeals court ruling on Detroit school closings

April 26, 2010
Filing seeks to overturn judge's decision that blocks closing of more than 40 schools
FromThe Detroit Free Press: Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox has filed an appeal contending that a lower court's injunction improperly limits Robert Bobb's authority over financial matters in Detroit Public Schools. Bobb, the district's emergency financial manager, cannot proceed with his plan to close schools or carry out an academic plan, the lower court has ruled, putting $106 million in federal aid in jeopardy, the appeal suggests.

EARLIER...from The Detroit Free Press: A Wayne County, Mich., judge has upheld her decision to stall school closures and financial plans for the Detroit district. Judge Wendy Baxter ordered the school board and district emergency financial manager Robert Bobb to continue court hearings in May in the lawsuit that seeks to clarify authority over the 85,000-student district. Board members sued last summer, contending that Bobb is violating state law by making academic decisions and not consulting with them on financial plans.

EARLIER...from The Detroit News: A judge has issued an order blocking the Detroit school system from closing more than 40 of its campuses. The ruling by Wayne County Circuit Judge Wendy Baxter also blocks the district's state-appointed emergency financial manager, Robert Bobb, from carrying out his academic plan without consulting the school board. It also prohibits him from testing students every quarter, ending social promotion and changing grade levels in schools. The preliminary injunction is in response to a lawsuit the school board filed against Bobb, alleging he overstepped his authority by making academic decisions and by failing to consult with board members. REACTION: Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb says the judge's ruling has forced him to shut down an extended-day learning program for about 9,700 students and may force him to cancel summer school.ALSO...from The Detroit Free Press: The court order mandates that Bobb must meet with the board on a monthly basis. The law clearly states that emergency financial managers must consult with a school board on financial plans, she said. But the ruling does not say he has to do what the board wants. Conceivably, Bobb could proceed with his plan on the school closings after meeting with the board. OPINION: The court injunction could stop efforts to end social promotion, and it could derail a proposed $200 million education reform plan. UPDATE: Michigan Attorney General Mike Cox says his office is working with the office of Detroit Public Schools' emergency financial manager Robert Bobb to discuss legal options after a Wayne County judge halted Bobb's academic plan for schools in the district. ( The Detroit Free Press)

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