LANSING – The House Detroit Caucus responded to Gov. Rick Snyder’s proposed changes for Detroit Public Schools (DPS) today, noting they were glad to see some work being done to address the budget crisis for DPS. However, members also urge that conversation and brainstorming must take place to smooth out the details of the governor’s plan, many details of which they are hesitant to embrace.

“We know there’s a crisis in Detroit for our schoolchildren, and we know something must be done. Local control for our local schools is a top priority, as the governor’s current plan takes that local control away. Detroiters know what is best for Detroit, and this city needs their voice in this matter,” Detroit Caucus Chairman Rep. Brian Banks (D-Detroit) said. “We must not take any missteps when it comes to the education of our youth. Their success now is Detroit’s success in the future, and I will work tirelessly to make sure they get the excellent education they deserve.”

The Detroit Caucus also laid out its translation of the recommendations made by the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren today, supporting academic goals that focus on student success; eliminating the debt of the DPS; a Detroit School Board that is not appointed, but democratically elected to represent the needs of Detroiters; empowering that elected school board to make decisions for the benefit of students; termination of the Education Achievement Authority; accountability in charter schools; and more comprehensive statewide school funding.

“As a former Detroit Public Schools teacher, it is my mission as a legislator to help Lansing understand Detroit’s educational landscape while advocating for our children. While this can’t merely be about governance and finance, as co-chair of the Policy Subcommittee of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, I stand by the need to improve, sustain and return local governance of Detroit Public Schools to an elected school board,” Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo (D-Detroit) said. “Currently, Detroit schoolchildren are lost in this shuffle game of charter schools, traditional public schools and the Education Achievement Authority, which hasn’t worked. We must be deliberate in addressing the needs of our children, and maintaining dialog with all stakeholders.

“Today, Gov. Snyder proposed education recommendations, and I am looking forward to learning greater details of his plan and I am prepared to work through this challenging discussion to realize what’s best for our children. I look forward to sitting down with the administration as a policymaker and forging opportunity for our children throughout the entire state.”