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Detroit Schools Manager Bobb Willing To Stay On

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Robert Bobb (WWJ Photo, File)

Robert Bobb (WWJ Photo, File)

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DETROIT (AP) – Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager Robert Bobb said he is willing to consider staying on the job beyond June in the wake of Michigan’s new financial oversight law.

Bobb was hired in 2009 by then-Gov. Jennifer Granholm to fix the district’s finances. His latest contract was extended through June by Gov. Rick Snyder, who signed a law giving Bobb and other emergency financial managers the right to oversee not just a school district’s finances but also its academics.

“I’d be willing to consider an offer from the governor,” Bobb told editorial page editor Nolan Finley with The Detroit News for a Friday column.  “I’m not lobbying for the job. But I do drool when I think of the pace of change we could achieve under the new law.”

In an e-mail Friday morning to The Associated Press, Snyder spokeswoman Sara Wurfel wrote that if Bobb is interested in extending his time in the job “he would be among the high quality candidates the governor considers to fill this critical role.”

Whoever gets the job will face plenty of challenges. Detroit Public Schools faces a $327 million budget deficit and might have to close more schools.

During his tenure, Bobb has reworked vendor contracts to save money, shut down old, high-maintenance buildings, weeded out numerous cases of fraud and theft, and kept dozens of teaching and other district jobs unfilled.

“The change in the law makes a difference in my thinking,” Bobb said. “Had it been that way from the beginning, we would be so far ahead of where we are today, particularly on the academic side.”

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.

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