DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Board of Education has voted to wipe-out all the changes implemented under Michigan’s old Emergency Manager law.
Board members on Tuesday night voted mostly unanimously on all sweeping changes to remove the district’s 15 schools from the Education Achievement Authority, to end the contract with Eastern Michigan University and to reduce the size of the academic staff.
“We have too many superintendents and deputy of this and deputy of that, and all of that money could be going to the classroom or pay down the debt,” Board president LaMar Lemmons told the crowd.
Lemmons said he expects DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts to leave.
“My position is that he should resign and turn over the district to elected governors. Our position has always been that we don’t need an Emergency Financial Manager, and our position has always been that the actual emergency was actually created by the state,” he said.
WWJ’s Stephanie Davis spoke to several parents at the meeting, including Maya Lawisa-Reynolds, who expressed anger and frustration over the Education Achievement Authority — a system set up for failing schools.
“It’s an abomination to our children. I graduated from Mumford High School. I have to go and do peace marches because those children are so angry and so upset because they know they’re being played, they know those teachers aren’t qualified,” she said.
Lemmons stressed that the board’s changes are contingent on the certification of the election, in which voters approved a repeal of the emergency manager law, and a judge’s decision in a pending court case which challenges the election of several members.
A Detroit Public Schools spokesperson said the EAA school system is a signed contract and will stay in place. He also said Roberts has two sent letters seeking a meeting with the board but is awaiting a response.
The EEA was created by Governor Rick Snyder last year to identify the lowest-performing schools in Detroit and across the state, and then work to improve them.