LANSING, Mich (WLNS) – Detroit school teachers and support staff rallied at the state Capitol today but the loss of $30 million by the district hung over the event like a dark cloud.
The money was supposed to go into the teacher retirement system but it did not.
Now some Republicans are reluctant to help Detroit when no one knows where the money went.
“The message here today is community solidarity,” said interim DFT president Ivy Bailey. “We want to highlight some of the positive things that are going on in the Detroit public schools.”
That may be the message of the union president but inside that building some lawmakers want to know what happened to the $30 million that was suppose to go into the DPS retirement system.
Like Macomb County Democrat Rep. John Chirkun. His constituents are telling him no more money for Detroit schools.
He has not made a final decision but his facial expression spoke volumes when the issue of the missing $30 million is raised. “That’s a big concern of mine,” said Rep. Chirkun. “Because I don’t know where that money is and I want to know where it is.”
The DFT president argues, it was the state appointed emergency managers who lost the money.
“If that’s the way you want to put it, they were in charge of the person over it and it happened on Mr. Early and Mr. Martin (watch),” said Ivy. “So they should be responsible for answering where the money went.”
While the rally went on, House Republicans remain opposed to the governor’s plan to spend $700 million to reduce the DPS deficit. The Senate has said yes, the House GOP speaker objects to that package.
But Detroit lawmaker Rep. Harvey Santana says the GOP will face a higher cost if they don’t act now. “If you say no then where are you going to find the $3 billion to pay off the debt. The state is going to be on the hook for that.”