Governor to appoint transition leader before end of the month
Feb. 2, 2016
LANSING, Mich. -- Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley notified Governor Rick Snyder today of his intent to leave his position, effective February 29, 2016.
“Darnell has done a very good job under some very difficult circumstances. I want to thank him for his professionalism and his service to the people of Michigan,” Snyder said. “He restructured a heavily bureaucratic central office, set in place operating and cost-containment measures, and has taken steps to stabilize enrollment. These factors should all set the course for a sustainable, new Detroit Community Schools, as I have proposed.”
Citing Public Act 436 of 2012, Earley pointed to the accomplishments that have been made in DPS’s turnaround, and the plans he set in place over the past year as having addressed the district’s operating budget structural deficit, among other tasks which required emergency manager intervention.
“When I was appointed to this position, Gov. Snyder and I agreed that our goal was for me to be the last emergency manager appointed to DPS,” Earley said. “I have completed the comprehensive restructuring, necessary to downsizing the central office, and the development of a network structure that empowers the educational leadership of our schools to direct more resources toward classroom instruction. This and other initiatives implemented over the past year were completed ahead of my 18-month schedule as provided in the Act.”
If the legislation before the state Senate which addresses the $515 million debt elimination plan now being proposed by the Governor is addressed soon, the district should be able to manage its business and educational objectives going forward and thus begin transition back towards some form of local control. Unless the debt is eliminated, however, DPS will be virtually insolvent by April.
Snyder said he will appoint a transition leader before the end of the month to set in place his plan to restructure DPS to address the district’s academics and finances. That plan is also a part of the legislation now under consideration.
Under the two-bill package, an interim Board of Education would be appointed to oversee a new, debt-free district and hire an interim superintendent. In November 2016, Detroit voters would elect a city Board of Education to be seated in January 2017. As the appointed board transitions to an elected board, a permanent superintendent will be recruited and appointed.
Snyder said the the district still faces challenges with some of its buildings. The new school district would have the capital improvements budget necessary to maintain the schools as well as repair the well documented conditions of a few of them.
“I urge our legislature to move as fast as possible so we can give Detroit students and teachers the learning environment they deserve,” he said.