DETROIT (WWJ) – A new emergency manager has been appointed for Detroit Public Schools.
Gov. Rick Snyder stopped in Detroit Monday to announce that Jack Martin will take over for Roy Roberts effective immediately.
Martin is a longtime certified public accountant who had been serving as Detroit’s chief financial officer — helping Mayor Dave Bing implement the city’s consent agreement with the state. He previously worked as emergency manager of Highland Park Schools.
Detroit’s schools have been under state oversight since 2009. The district has lost more than 100,000 students and millions of dollars in per-pupil funding since 2000. Last year, some of the district’s worst performing schools were transferred into a new, separately operated school system.
Roberts, a former General Motors executive, had been scheduled to leave the district in May — when his second, one-year contract expired — but was asked to stay on until a replacement could be found.
Under Roberts’ leadership, daily student attendance and the graduation rate have improved — although at less than 70 percent it’s still below the state average. The district is also doing a bit better financially with the deficit down $76 million from $327 million.
Snyder praised Roberts work heading up the district, but said there is still a lot of work to be done. He predicts Martin “will help continue the positive transformation of Detroit Public Schools.”
“I think Jack Martin has a tremendous background,” said Snyder at a news conference at Davison Elementary-Middle School. “He’s got a track record of success , both in finance and education … and again, I think he’s an outstanding candidate to have in this spot. I think we’re on a good path here. This is good stuff.”
Snyder said Martin will leave his job as Detroit CFO for the schools’ position.
“It is a loss to the city of Detroit, but what I would say is is at the city level, we’re gonna continue moving forward with the reinvention of the city of Detroit . I think Kevyn Orr’s doing an outstanding job . I appreciate the mayor having Jack Martin on his team,” Snyder said. “They’ve been working well together, so we will have a challenge in terms of replacing Jack.”