Skubick: Snyder calls for state tax money to revamp Detroit schools

LANSING, MI (WLNS) – Governor Snyder has released an ambitious proposal to re-vamp the Detroit school system, using state tax dollars to do it.

The package faces a rough road ahead.

And you thought fixing the roads was a tough challenge.

Now that the governor has fleshed out his proposal to eliminate the Detroit school deficit, about $750 million and revamp the organizational chart, the package faces an uphill climb.

But the governor argues, it’s the right thing to do.

“We need people to rally together, Detroiters and people from all across Michigan to say let’s work and get these kids a better academic environment and have them do it in a financially sound series of schools and can be successful in the long term,” said Governor Rick Snyder.

Here’s what the governor wants: $70 million from the legislature over 10 years to buy down the school deficit.

He would create a new district that would not initially be elected by the people.

The old board would lose some of its power and there would be a new school czar in charged.

But the governor does not begin this journey will all of the Detroit lawmakers in his corner.

This democrat says there is too much emphasis on redesigning the district and not enough on student achievement.

“We can restructure and refinance and reorganize the school system all you want. But, if the core problem isn’t being addressed, it’s going to rot from the inside out,” said State Rep. Harvey Santana, (d), Detroit.

The governor contends if the state does not fund the district now, it has a legal obligation down the road to do it and if lawmakers bulk, the cost will be higher if the courts got into this.

“If this went into court or some other fashion where there are defaults or other problems, it would cost the citizens of Michigan and other school districts a lot more money,” said Governor Rick Snyder.

Making the governor’s task even more challenging.

He is now asking lawmakers for a revenue hike for the roads and assuming that happens, he’ll be back the next day asking for even more for Detroit schools.

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