DETROIT (WWJ/AP) – The state-appointed emergency manager for the Detroit Public Schools says he’ll fire a superintendent and make other changes to exert control over academic policies.

Roy Roberts announced the decision Wednesday in a letter to employees, a copy of which was obtained by WWJ Newsradio 950. The timing was thoughtfully planned, as the state’s new emergency manager law takes effect Thursday. The law reinstates Roberts’ authority over all DPS operations, which previously had been under the authority of the school board.

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In the letter, Roberts said he plans to reverse decisions the board made since it acquired academic powers in August, which include issuing an executive order to rescind the board’s attempts to ratify employment contracts, hire five administrators and rename several schools.

Roberts also said effective immediately, John Telford, who was appointed as Interim Superintendent by the school board, has been terminated.

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A power struggle began last year when an emergency manager law was suspended for months and ultimately repealed by voters. Roberts remained on the job under an old law, which had fewer powers, but had been awaiting the new law’s additional powers.

“I know that these last few months have been filled with confusion and uncertainty,” Roberts said in the letter. “However, we have made it through those difficult times and can now focus on the future. As I’ve said before, if there is anything that I am certain of, it’s that strength comes from everyone working together to get the job done.”

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