DETROIT — Gov. Rick Snyder wants to remove the worst-performing schools in Detroit from district control and put them into an “Education Achievement System,” media reports said.

School principals would have expanded powers in the new system, including making hiring and firing decisions, and would have to spend 95 percent of all funding “in the classroom,” The Detroit News reported. Principals and teachers would make operational decisions, according to the Free Press.

Thirty-nine schools will be carved out from DPS and join the new system as of 2012-2013; eventually the system will expand to include all low-performing schools statewide, the Free Press reported.

In related news, Snyder and DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said they are working to secure enough financial support from foundations, philanthropic and business groups to provide two years of college tuition or vocational training to all DPS graduates, The News reported. Those entities, as well as Eastern Michigan University, are expected to provide the system with educational expertise as well, media reported.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said the Obama administration supports the plan, according to the Free Press. Some parts of the proposal would require legislative approval, the Free Press reported.

Michigan legislators already passed an education reform package in 2009 that required low-achieving schools to implement turnaround plans or else be subject to state takeover, The News reported.

SOURCES:
The Detroit News, “DPS reform plan includes more money for classrooms - power for principals,” June 20, 2011

Detroit Free Press, “Sweeping reform plan empowers principals, teachers in low-performing Michigan schools,” June 20, 2011

FURTHER READING:
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Center Study Compares Financial Data for Michigan’s Urban, Suburban, Town and Rural School Districts,” May 31, 2011

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