A Detroit resident posed a question via Facebook to the Governor “Why isn’t the state of Detroit Public Schools (DPS) considered an Emergency?” Teachers have been suffering from massive pay cuts yearly and working in buildings with warped floors, falling ceiling tiles, and mold!. Although teachers have a union it seems since Governor Snyder made Michigan a “Right to work” State the strength of unions have changed.
The Emergency manager took over Detroit Public Schools in 2009. More than 30% of the funding that was supposed to be used for DPS was used to pay off the cities debt. Wasn’t the Emergency Manager supposed to help DPS?! It’s important to keep in mind that the people of Michigan voted against the Emergency manager and Governor Snyder overturned the votes and enforced his plan anyway.
If you listen to the Governor and his Administration they’ll say Detroit Public Schools enrollment has declined. What he didn’t say is that those students are sitting in the same building that was once a DPS school but instead he made it a Charter school! Those children didn’t physically go anywhere the Governor made a decision to change the school into a Charter school which, means more money being taken away from Detroit Public Schools!
Governor Snyder and his Administration will also tell you that DPS has a tremendous amount of debt. What they won’t tell you is that they gave DPS the debt that they have. What about the students of DPS? They are in over crowded classrooms, many without books, and the temperatures are either extremely hot or extremely cold in the buildings depending upon the weather outside. Why does Governor Snyder think it’s okay for children in Detroit to be put in an environment that makes it almost impossible to learn?
This is all too familiar! This isn’t the first time the State was allowed to take over DPS. When John Engler was the Governor of Michigan the State took over Detroit Public Schools. When the State got into a bind they dropped DPS literally and stopped providing the school system with the funds that were promised by contract. In return that left DPS with a large amount of debt which DPS has carried on over the years. It seems Many people forget that important fact of Michigan history.
As a teacher stated “It is clear that there is no equality in Education in the state of Michigan!” Is it a coincidence that this is happening in a predominately Black city and school system? The definition of institutional racism is “a form of racism expressed in the practice of social and political institutions, as distinct from racism by individuals or informal social groups. It is reflected in disparities regarding criminal justice, employment, housing, health care, political power and education, among other things. Whether implicitly or explicitly expressed, institutional racism occurs when a certain group is targeted and discriminated against based upon race. Institutional racism can go unnoticed as it is not always explicit and can be overlooked (Wikipedia).” You be the judge.
One of the most unjust acts is to deny people of education and then blame them for not learning!
Sources: detroitnews.com mlive.com crcmich.org freep.com detroit.cbslocal.com www.wikipedia.org