DPS could get grant money, if sides agree

DETROIT - The Detroit school board and its emergency financial manager must work together on a school redesign plan if they want to receive federal funding intended for low-achieving Michigan schools, the Detroit Free Press reported.

State Superintendent Michael Flanagan said the district is eligible for a "significant portion" of the $115 million in federal School Improvement Grant money that the state has received, but that the board and financial manager Robert Bobb must jointly approve a reform plan, the Free Press reported.

Board members and Bobb are at odds over who has authority over academics in the district, according to the Free Press. Acting Superintendent Teresa Gueyser, who reports to the board, told school principals last week that they did not have to administer a new standardized test that had been distributed by Bobb's academic team, the report said. Bobb's staff then told principals to ignore Gueyser's message, according to the Free Press.

Board President Otis Mathis told the Free Press that he would work with Bobb's team but that the board wants to be "held harmless" for spending decisions that Bobb makes.

The Detroit Free Press, "Power struggle could cost Detroit schools," March 4, 2010

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Detroit's schools are going bankrupt, too," Aug. 4, 2009