February 21, 2012
Highland Park Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin, Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts, and State Treasurer Andy Dillon today signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) that provides temporary assistance and support to Highland Park Schools from Detroit Public Schools. The MOA, which will be in place for the remainder of the 2011- 2012 school year, allows current Highland Park students to remain in their current classrooms with their current teachers, if they so choose, despite the district's financial crisis. This arrangement was made possible by legislation signed last week by Gov. Snyder.
"The Snyder Administration, in partnership with the Michigan legislature, has worked tirelessly over the last couple of weeks to ensure viable options for Highland Park students and their families," said Dillon. "This unique agreement will ensure that students, who did not cause the district's financial emergency, will have the ability to finish the school year at HPS."
Under the MOA, DPS will assist in the management and operations of Highland Park Schools beginning today, March 2, 2012. Under the partnership, DPS will support personnel-related functions on behalf of Highland Park Schools. DPS will receive distressed district student transition grants of $4,000 per pupil. Highland Park Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin, who was reappointed to the post by Gov. Snyder this morning, will retain authority granted to him under PA 4 of 2011 to rectify the district's financial emergency.
"Our goal is to ensure that students face as little disruption as possible," said Martin. "I want to thank Mr. Roberts for his willingness to assist Highland Park Schools through such trying times. I would also like to thank the teachers and staff who have been in class and working all week despite not getting paid last Friday. They will be receiving paychecks later today."
Under House Bill 4445 or Public Act 29 of 2012, a $4,000 per-pupil stipend will go to DPS as the operating entity for Highland Park schools for the remainder of the current school year.
"Our mutual goal will continue to be to educate the children first," said Roberts. "Detroit Public Schools is willing to fill a role as current legislation allows, to ensure that Highland Park students can continue to learn in a stable and consistent fashion."
The legislation also allows Highland Park students the opportunity to transfer to another district or school that has space if they choose. The $4,000 per pupil stipend would follow that child to the school of choice.