Category: Emergency Managers

What Snyder’s choice of an oil executive as DEQ director says to Michiganders

What Snyder’s choice of an oil executive as DEQ director says to Michiganders

When, in the wake of the Flint water crisis, Dan Wyant resigned from his post as director of the Department of Environmental Quality, Gov. Rick Snyder’s outgoing chief of staff lamented the move.

“I’m not sure why this decision was made but if it’s only optics, keep in mind that finding a replacement who has the trust of the business community will be very difficult,” Dennis Muchmore wrote in an email to his replacement, Jarrod Agen.

The optics — or public perception — in question was the public’s loss of trust in Wyant as leader of the state department charged with protecting the environment.…

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New report shows Michigan massively underfunding education and the scandalous impact of that is all around us

New report shows Michigan massively underfunding education and the scandalous impact of that is all around us

Last year, as part of the deal over road funding that led to Proposal 1 on the May 2015 ballot, a school financing report was commissioned by the state to determine what it takes to educate a child in Michigan. This week, that report was released and it shows, as anyone who is paying attention to education in our state had already figured out, Michigan is woefully underfunding education.

Here are some of the “highlights” (lowlights?) drawn from reporting by the Detroit Free Press and The Detroit News:

  • There is significantly more variation in per-pupil revenues and expenditures across districts than is desirable for an equitable school finance system.
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[CC image credit: Thomas Hawk | Flickr]

UNDER NEW (EMERGENCY) MANAGEMENT: How Donald Trump helped end democracy in Atlantic City, New Jersey

Back in January of last year, Republican New Jersey Governor Chris Christie stripped Atlantic City residents of their democracy and took over control of the city with an Emergency Manager. The move came after the implosion of the casino industry plunged the city into insolvency.

The road to the loss of democracy in Atlantic City began, in part, when Donald Trump, exhibiting his most trumpish self, created what Steven P. Perskie, the former chairman of the Casino Control Commission and a former state Democratic legislator, called a “Potemkin village”, a huge boondoggle that sucked large numbers of individuals and businesses into the vortex behind its false façade and then, when it collapsed in narcissistic egotistical ruin, spit them out.…

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In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

In the face of unified opposition to the Michigan House Republican’s “plan” for Detroit schools, there is a better way

Yesterday, Tony wrote about the racist impacts of Michigan House Republicans’ so-called plan to resolve the devastation caused by years of disinvestment in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS). I thought it would be worth a deeper look to reveal just how odious the plan is.

There are several elements that show that House Republicans have no intention of making DPS and the students in the system whole. First of all, there is insufficient funding for their “plan” to even work. Here’s what the Editorial Board at the Detroit Free Press had to say about it:

When is $500 million worth nothing?…

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Michigan House Republicans transcend racism and elevate their actions to dehumanize DPS schoolchildren

Michigan House Republicans transcend racism and elevate their actions to dehumanize DPS schoolchildren

I read with great interest Eclectablog founder and editor Chris Savage’s interview with American Federation of Teachers national president Randy Weingarten yesterday and it set in motion the vast array of anger am feeling about how the Michigan State House of Representatives have devolved into hate-filled racists who no longer attempt to hide their disdain for the Detroit Public Schools, the children that attend them and the state-appointed Emergency Managers who created the debt and decay that has ensued, not to mention the teachers, and that’s just for starters.

The Republican-controlled legislature have given in to the will of the lobbying group Great Lakes Education Project (GLEP).…

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INTERVIEW – AFT President Randi Weingarten: “This is the DFT that I remember…the mighty, mighty DFT

INTERVIEW – AFT President Randi Weingarten: “This is the DFT that I remember…the mighty, mighty DFT

Over the past few months, teachers in the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) have had to resort to “sick outs” to get attention to the egregious working and teaching conditions they and their students are being forced to contend with. From black mold, rats, and cockroaches to warped gym floors and, this past week, the threat that they would not be paid for their work because the district is out of money, none of these issues would have been made public without them taking these measures. By law, teachers in Michigan are not allowed to go on strike so sick outs have been their only recourse.…

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I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

I left the country for two weeks and the list of things that happened in Michigan is mind blowing

The lack of blog posts over the past couple of weeks is due to the fact that I was in Canada for a week-long business trip two weeks ago that involved me working 8-10 hour shifts, grabbing a quick bite to eat on the fly, and then catching a few hours of sleep before heading back to the plant. I got home Friday night at around 9 p.m. and was back at the airport the next morning to fly to Ireland for a wedding/vacation.

Interestingly and unexpectedly, the day we arrived in Dublin was the 100-year anniversary of the “Easter Rising” that essentially created the nation of Ireland was we know it today.…

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The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

The New Emergency Manager: Woman who got over $100K for school she never opened now imposing CEOs on struggling schools

I’ve been writing lately about the attempt by the Snyder administration to continue the undemocratic takeover of local schools facing financial difficulties without having to use an Emergency Manager. Thanks to the Flint water catastrophe where the residents’ drinking water was contaminated with lead thanks to decisions made by Emergency Managers, that phrase has become (pardon the pun) toxic. As I have written (HERE and HERE), the individual put in charge of taking over the school districts is now called a “CEO”. And the CEO has all sorts of power:

  • Assume the financial and academic authority over multiple schools;
  • Assume the role of the locally elected school board for those schools they have been assigned;
  • Control all funds attributable to pupils at the school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Permanently close a school without the consent of the locally elected board;
  • Sell closed school buildings without the consent of the locally elected board; and
  • Convert schools into charter schools without the consent of the locally elected board.
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More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

More evidence the Snyder admininstration won’t be replacing ANY lead water lines and other #FlintWaterCrisis news

Earlier this month, I suggested that the Snyder administration has no intention of replacing a single water line in Flint where the drinking water was contaminated with the powerful neurotoxin lead through the actions of Snyder’s appointed Emergency Managers and the ineptitude of his appointee at the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Dan Wyant, a man with zero experience in managing water systems:

Amid all this non-action, the Snyder administration has started to warn municipalities that they should avoid “partial lead service line replacements”. […]

Add to this the fact that Flint water lead levels are beginning to drop as the phosphate added to the water for corrosion protection is building up a protective layer on the inside of water lines and it is starting to look as if the Snyder administration is simply waiting until lead levels have dropped enough for Flint residents to begin using their water again.…

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For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

For Michigan schools, CEO is the new Emergency Manager – Now with more POWER!

The ultimate expression of running government like a business

Earlier this month, I reported about a new approach being taken by Gov. Rick Snyder when it comes to taking over schools with unelected overseers. Because the term “Emergency Manager” is now a national expletive, he has changed the title to school district “Chief Executive Officer (CEO)”. The first school district to be put under the control of an appointed CEO is East Detroit Public Schools:

It’s not clear under what authorization this is being done. However, given that the CEO “will have jurisdiction over all instructional and financial decisions”, it appears to be an Emergency Manager with a new name, one that avoids the now-toxic “Emergency Manager” moniker.…

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More corruption unveiled in Detroit schools which happened under the watchful eyes of a Michigan Emergency Manager

More corruption unveiled in Detroit schools which happened under the watchful eyes of a Michigan Emergency Manager

Last October I penned a piece titled “Michigan’s Emergency Managers were supposed to fix corruption and ineptitude. They haven’t.” That could just as easily be the title of this post as U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade today unveiled federal charges against twelve current and former principals, an administrator and a vendor with Detroit Public Schools:

Twelve current and former principals, an administrator and a vendor with Detroit Public Schools are facing federal charges, according U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade

McQuade, The FBI and the Internal Revenue Service are holding a news conference in Detroit at 1 p.m. this afternoon to discuss the case, according to a statement released Tuesday morning.…

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