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INGRID JACQUES

Editor’s Note: EAA doesn’t need separate bailout

Ingrid Jacques
The Detroit News

Veronica Conforme does not have an enviable job. The chancellor of the Education Achievement Authority is charged with overseeing an entity that has less than one year left in existence, while still trying to make it work for Detroit families.

The EAA, the state’s reform district, took over 15 of the worst performing schools in Detroit in 2012. Since then, the district has faced significant financial and academic challenges. Much of the criticism of the EAA neglects that these schools also had the biggest hurdles to overcome, being the lowest performing in Detroit — and the entire state.

But the reform district, which was the brainchild of Gov. Rick Snyder, hasn’t worked as promised, and now those schools are returning next year to the new debt-free and renamed Detroit Public Schools Community District.

Despite that, the squabbles between Detroit schools and the EAA are continuing. The latest issue is over $12 million in unpaid rent that the reform district owes DPSCD. Conforme says she had assurances that debt would be forgiven, but DPSCD Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes disputes that.

The Legislature just sent a $617 million bailout to Detroit schools. That should be enough for Conforme and Rhodes to work out this latest money fight.