News Story

House Democrats Oppose 'Trapping' Detroit Students in Non-Union Schools

But support trapping them in failing public schools

Members of the Michigan House of Representative’s Democratic caucus appear to have conflicting views toward Detroit schoolchildren, who, they say, are “trapped” in a failing school district.

Earlier this month, the caucus issued a press release announcing its “grave concern” for the future of Detroit schoolchildren “trapped in the failing EAA.” The EAA is the Education Achievement Authority, an administrative entity created by Eastern Michigan University and Detroit Public Schools to operate the Michigan’s lowest-achieving schools, which all happen to be in Detroit.

But 11 days later, Rep. Sherry Gay-Dagnogo, D-Detroit, told the Detroit News that House Democrats don’t want to create any competition for Detroit Public Schools, which was recently declared the nation’s worst urban school district by the 2015 National Assessment of Educational Progress.

Apparently, Democrats want to give control of the failing EAA schools back to the failing DPS, and then restrict the opportunity of Detroit parents to choose a better school for their children.

“We don’t want to start creating systems that compete with local school districts because it further widens the gap in public school funding,” Gay-Dagnogo told the newspaper.

Gay-Dagnogo didn’t respond to an email seeking comment.

Gary Naeyaert, the executive director of the Great Lakes Education Project, said the House Democrats were against the EAA and charter schools because they are not unionized.

“It shows the true desire of the House Democrats is to placate the unions and support only the union-based education system in the public schools,” Naeyaert said.