Detroit to Allow Schools to Self-Govern, Sell Administrative Services

The Detroit Public Schools emergency manager has unveiled plans that allow 10 schools to self-govern and put the services of the district's central office for sale for charter schools and others in the area, the Detroit Free Press reports.
by | April 5, 2012

The Detroit Public Schools emergency manager has unveiled plans that allow 10 schools to self-govern and to sell some of the services from the district's central office up to charter schools and others in the area, the Detroit Free Press reports.

Emergency manager Roy Roberts unveiled the 2012-2013 "action plan" on Wednesday. The self-governing schools, which would establish a governing council, would make autonomous decisions about staffing, coursework and their budgets. They would continue to receive 100 percent of federal funding and 97 percent of their state per-pupil funding, minus 3 percent that goes toward the district's accumulated debt.

Detroit Public Schools had racked up $327 million in debt, leading to Roberts's appointment last year. As Governing reported in November, the district reported that it had reduced its long-term debt by $43 million, down to $284 million.

Part of the district's central office would be reimagined as the Enterprise Service Group. Charter schools, self-governing schools and nearby school districts could purchase a variety of fee-based services, such as food services, payroll processing and police staff, according to the Free Press.

The action plan also calls for an agreement with state education authorities to administer a single assessment citywide to gauge annual student progress.

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