DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts has announced a plan to create a hybrid system within the district with 10 high schools being converted into “self-governing” buildings, according to The Detroit News. Each school would have a five-member board with control over budgetary, hiring and operations decisions.
According to The News, the new system is an effort to compete with the educational opportunities offered by charter public schools. Around 45,000 students who reside within DPS boundaries attend a charter public school.
“We want to offer parents in this community choices,” Roberts told The News. “Every time I pick a school and make it a charter school, I take away my ability to pay off the deficit. So I said why don’t you create schools that are charter-esque?”
According to The News, the hybrid system has been tentatively well received by both state and union officials.
"It's nothing we would argue against," Keith Johnson, president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, told The News. "I think it's another step in the process of our academic and fiscal recovery. The devil is always in the details. There is still a number of details that have to be worked out."
The Detroit News, “DPS to move 10 high schools into new 'self-governing' system this fall,” April 4, 2012
Michigan Education Report, “Detroit to close some schools, turn others into charters,” Feb. 14, 2012