Detroit Public Schools face federal civil rights investigation from Dept of Education over use of Emergency Managers


The country is waking up to what’s happening in Michigan

The U.S. Department of Education is investigating a civil rights complaint over the use of Emergency Managers in the Detroit Public Schools. The complaint alleges that black and brown students are being singled out for takeover of their school systems while kids in majority white districts facing similar financial problems aren’t similarly impacted. It also claims that black and brown students face discipline that their white counterparts do not.

It appears that the rest of the country is beginning to wake up to egregious overreach by Michigan Republicans that has an inordinate impact on people of color.

The US Department of Education is now investigating the state of Michigan over alleged civil rights violations.

The department’s civil rights office was already investigating two civil rights cases against the Detroit Public Schools.

“OCR is currently investigating a complaint alleging the Detroit Public Schools District has discriminated against African American and Hispanic students on the bases of race and national origin by closing and/or converting to charter schools a number of district schools,” Education Department Jim Bradshaw said in an email.

“And, that the district has treated African American students differently by disciplining them for participating in student protests while not disciplining students of other races/national origins who engage in similar protests.

There is no question that minority students are far more likely to see their schools taken over by the state or to have them privatized. What remains to be seen is if this is happening unfairly and, if so, what the remedy is.

I’m inclined to say that a return to democracy and actual investment in our schools, rather than a diversion of education funds to private corporations, is the answer. We’ll see if the federal government agrees.