Detroit schools board votes to oust emergency manager

Shawn D. Lewis
The Detroit News

Detroit – — Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Jack Martin was voted out again by the district's board, the third time the panel voted to eliminate Martin's position.

In a resolution on Monday, the board wrote, "Be it resolved that we, the duly elected members of the Detroit Board of Education do hereby demand the immediate removal of the Emergency Manager, and that the locally democratically elected governance be restored as of this day, September 29, 2014."

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager  Jack Martin

The school board takes issue with the state's emergency manager law and the length of time a manager can remain in office.

The district has been under an emergency manager since 2009 and is grappling with a $127 million deficit, down from a high of $320 million in 2010, according to DPS spokesman Steve Wasko.

Wasko chose not to comment on the vote but instead said, "Everyone is fiercely focused on academic growth, which has closed the gap with the state since 2010 and providing the programs and services that families want in this highly competitive environment, which has resulted in two consecutive years of market share growth and significantly surpassing the demographer's enrollment projections."

He added that academic rigor and enrollment stability "will ensure the fiscal solvency that Detroit Public Schools parents, students and educators need and deserve."

Board President Herman Davis said the panel submitted its own deficit elimination plan, but the state would not accept it.

"We don't need an emergency manager, period," he said. "If the governor had appointed five emergency managers, the law still only gives one 18-month period to serve."

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday in Ingham County Circuit Court.

"If the judge rules against us, we plan to appeal," said Davis.

The board's lawyer and a spokesman for Gov. Rick Snyder did not respond to emails immediately.

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