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Under Emergency Management Detroit Public Schools loses Headstart funding for nearly 1,000 kids

Back in 2012, Pontiac Emergency Manager Louis Schimmel signed an agreement with Oakland County to manage monies from a substantial HUD grant. That turned out to be a nearly disasterous decision that would have resulted in a loss of upwards of $800,000 per year for Pontiac. Thankfully, Congressman Gary Peters stepped in a saved the day (and the money.)

At the time Congressman Peters had this to say about the situation:

“Emergency managers come in and are focused on balancing budgets in the short term, and because of that they make decisions that aren’t necessarily in the best interest of the city,” he said.…
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Muskegon Heights education advocates submit a “Citizens’ RFP” to reclaim their schools from for-profit corporations

Last month, the for-profit charter corporation Mosaica announced that it was breaking its contract, signed under an Emergency Manager, to run the entire Muskegon Heights school district. Why? Because they couldn’t make a profit off of running a school system in an economically depressed community.

I know. You’re shocked.

“To be brutally honest – they had to be brutally honest to themselves as well with us – in their model as a for profit company, their profit was not there,” [Emergency Manager Gregory] Weatherspoon said. […]

As of this week, the Emergency Manager has still not had a single group come forward in their Request for Proposal (RFP) to run the district.…

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SHOCKER! For-profit charter Mosaica discovers it can’t make a profit from underfunded schools

Mosaica, the for-profit charter group that has been running Muskegon Heights schools has agreed to end their contract with the school district. Why? They couldn’t make a profit:

“To be brutally honest – they had to be brutally honest to themselves as well with us – in their model as a for profit company, their profit was not there,” Weatherspoon said. […]

In order to pay teachers, vendors and staff for the rest of this school year, Weatherspoon is asking the state for a $1.4 million loan. That loan would go to the original Muskegon Heights Public School district, which would then funnel the cash to the new charter district it authorizes, Muskegon Heights Public School Academy.

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House Republicans move the goalposts on helping solve Detroit’s financial crisis by extorting labor unions

Oh, that’s rich

Michigan House Republicans are in a tight spot. With concessions made by every party swept up in Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy and a deal in place that mostly preserves retiree pensions and the Detroit Institute of Arts’ priceless art collection, the only hurdle remaining is the state ponying up $350 million. Given how much money they’ve essentially stolen from the city by withholding promised revenue sharing, it’s a small price to pay. The state cannot take over cities with Emergency Managers and then tell them they are on their own, much as they would love to do just that.…

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Muskegon Heights schools still financially insolvent despite Emergency Manager’s outsourcing to for-profit charter

Wait, Emergency Managers were supposed to solve these problems weren’t they???

In what can only be seen as an embarrassing repudiation of the Republican idea that Emergency Managers are capable of “fixing” financially-struggling schools, the Muskegon Heights schools system has had to borrow nearly a quarter million dollars from the state in order to make payroll. This was after Emergency Manager Gregory Weatherspoon turned the school system entirely over to Mosaica Education, Inc., a for-profit charter school corporation — or as Mosaica likes to call itself, a for-profit education management organization — a year and half ago.

The state is fronting $231,000 to the charter school district in Muskegon Heights so it can pay its employees.…
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Detroit Public Schools: A case study in the failure of the Emergency Manager system

Lansing, we have a problem

The amped-up Emergency Manager laws passed by Michigan Republicans in 2011 and again in 2012 were specifically designed to give far more sweeping powers to the one unelected potentate who assumes control of the school district or municipality. The sweeping away of local elected officials and the snuffing out of local democracy was needed, said the proponents, because the elected leaders were simply incapable of doing the job properly themselves. In fact, the unspoken implication is the local communities deserved to lose their democracy since they voted for such inept leaders in the first place.

The bedrock presumption in all of this is that the state is completely capable of stepping in and handling the affairs of the local municipality or of the school district.…

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The data is clear: Emergency Management not working in Detroit Public Schools

The EAA isn’t the only experiment being conducted on Detroit children

In all of the sturm und drang over Republican Governor Rick Snyder’s Educational Achievement Authority experiment with Detroit children, it’s easy to forget about the other experiment they are part of: state control of the Detroit Public Schools by an Emergency Manager. I’ve written reams on this topic but not much recently given that the EAA has sucked so much oxygen out of the room.

However, I haven’t forgotten about this and neither has my friend Dr. Thomas Pedroni, Director of the Leonard Kaplan Education Center for Critical Urban Studies and Associate Professor for Curriculum Studies at Wayne State University.…

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Republicans Denby and Rogers still trying to keep their white communities away from an Emergency Manager

A year and a half ago, I wrote a rather lengthy piece titled “Majority white communities avoid Emergency Financial managers with help from Republicans Denby and Rogers”. In it, I told the rather convoluted story of how now-State Representatives Cindy Denby and Bill Rogers had, during their time as local government officials, gotten their municipalities and county into severe debt when the housing market crashed. Bad decisions by them resulted in Handy Township where Denby was the Supervisor and Livingston County where Rogers was a Commissioner facing severe financial crises over special assessment districts that were created, paid for, and which then fell apart as developers abandoned the projects.…

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BREAKING: Federal court allows legal challenge to constitutionality of Michigan’s Emergency Manager law to proceed

Another win for the good guys…

The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan today granted a motion to reopen the lawsuit filed by the Sugar Law Center and others against Michigan officials challenging the constitutionality of Public Act 436, Michigan’s undemocratic Emergency Manager Law. From their press release:

The Court’s order follows three orders from the United States Bankruptcy Court that also said the lawsuit against the Emergency Manager Law could go forward. Gov. Rick Snyder had sought to extend the bankruptcy stay of lawsuits against the City of Detroit to include all suits challenging Michigan’s Emergency Manager Laws.…
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Gov. Snyder breaks his own record. Now TWENTY schools & cities are in financial crisis in his “Turnaround state”.

Time to update my chart…

Back in December, I took a look at how many cities and schools were in financial crisis under Governor Rick Snyder compared with his predecessors. The results were pretty shocking:

When you look at the situation under Governor Snyder compared with his predecessors, the data is striking. Including all cities and schools that have either had a consent agreement, an emergency manager, or that are being considered for an emergency manager, Governor Snyder is far and away the leader.

Under John Engler, there were 3 cities (Flint, Hamtramck, and Highland Park).

Under Jennifer Granholm there were 5 cities (Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Highland Park, Pontiac, and Three Oaks Village) and one school district (Detroit Public Schools).

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