Save The Children!

Are Bailouts The Right Answer for DPS?

school-926213(Reposted from JasonGillman.Com)

The Michigan House just voted to give the Detroit Public Schools a $500 million bailout and the State Senate wants to give $800 million.

104th State Representative and incumbent Larry Inman explains it away as a necessary evil. He suggested on the Ron Jolly radio program Wednesday morning, that lawyers warned house leadership that if they didn’t do something, the courts would take over, and it could be far worse. He referenced the Michigan constitution, and its requirement on the legislature to provide funding for the schools.

My guess is that he did not ask the question of the attorneys advising the house “what might happen if every school district subjected the taxpayers to the same challenge?”

YES, the state is supposed to provide an education. The legislature is supposed to “maintain and support a system of elementary and secondary schools.. ” In fact, From the state constitution:

§ 2 Free public elementary and secondary schools; discrimination.

Sec. 2.

The legislature shall maintain and support a system of free public elementary and secondary schools as defined by law. Every school district shall provide for the education of its pupils without discrimination as to religion, creed, race, color or national origin.

No public monies or property shall be appropriated or paid or any public credit utilized, by the legislature or any other political subdivision or agency of the state directly or indirectly to aid or maintain any private, denominational or other nonpublic, pre-elementary, elementary, or secondary school. No payment, credit, tax benefit, exemption or deductions, tuition voucher, subsidy, grant or loan of public monies or property shall be provided, directly or indirectly, to support the attendance of any student or the employment of any person at any such nonpublic school or at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to such nonpublic school students. The legislature may provide for the transportation of students to and from any school.

History: Const. 1963, Art. VIII, § 2, Eff. Jan. 1, 1964 ;– Am. Initiated Law, approved Nov. 3, 1970, Eff. Dec. 19, 1970
Constitutionality: That portion of second sentence of second paragraph of this section, prohibiting use of public money to support attendance of any student or employment of any person at any location or institution where instruction is offered in whole or in part to nonpublic students, was held unconstitutional, void, and unenforceable because it contravened free exercise of religion guaranteed by the United States Constitution and was violative of equal protection of laws provisions of United States Constitution. Traverse City School District v Attorney General, 384 Mich 390; 185 NW2d 9 (1971).
Former Constitution: See Const. 1908, Art. XI, § 9.

But should the state be responsible for the aggregate of poor decisions, graft, and straight out mismanagement?

And is asking the question: “can there be logic in perpetually providing cover for mismanaged taxpayer institutions?” too much? Does anyone think that DPS is the only poorly managed school system in the state? What then happens after this payoff, and the next district says, “Gosh, we need help too.”?

And frankly, if anyone thinks the threat of new oversight rules will prevent the same in the future, they are not paying attention to what happens when government grows. Oversight is in the hands of those legislators here and now. Will creating a new bureaucracy or adding new rules that require more administrative attention actually provide better schools, and an efficient education system for our students under the same general management?

Read the constitutionality entry above. The supreme court has ruled that the dollars can follow the students. Charter schools are still public anyhow, yet have market principles guiding them.

In this case, instead of offering the foundation money to follow the students for better options, the house voted to forgive the malfeasance of DPS and allow them ‘another chance.’ This is trapping those students in a system that is ineffective at best, and now sets the stage for further costly bailouts throughout the state.

The solution:

  • 1. Compel DPS to liquidate its assets through bankruptcy and the ongoing emergency manager.
  • 2. Compel Charter authorization for enough schools to handle the 48 thousand students in the DPS.
  • 3. Provide for random audits from Auditor General with stiff penalties for fraud
  • 4 Provide minimal funding for the wind down of school related activities and set a yearly budget for the DPS as a charter authorizing agency.
  • 5. Provide pennies on the dollar relief from the state for metered dissolution of the school system debt and obligations.

Larry Inman responded like so many legislators respond. He trusted the lawyers and bureaucrats on the issue of courts coming in to resolve it. This is the same thing that happened in Grand Traverse County. The administrators said “trust us, this will make it better; it will work,” and the commissioners bought it. And now Grand Traverse County is paying for such blind trust, and thoughtless capitulation.

Leadership is needed more than ever on this issue.

Detroit school children will be caught in the cross hairs of the political power posturing. They will not see a better education with this plan any more than if the schools were closed.

In fact, moving the management of the system to a series of chartered environments would likely be the best alternative available. Pressure from interests embedded in the existing school system will fight nearly any reform the legislature attempts anyhow, and this would set a course where success is rewarded, along with zero taxpayer liability for fiscal mismanagement into the future.

For taxpayer relief, and for better education, Its time to set the children free.




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  8 comments for “Save The Children!

  1. Corinthian Scales
    May 12, 2016 at 7:21 pm

    Ah yes, the mighty, mythical, big-bore Silver Bullet-

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    • Jason
      May 12, 2016 at 7:36 pm

      Oh, I get you. From my perspective however, its a lot easier to decertify a charter than it is to close a non performing school.

      Detroit will have its share of corruption no matter which form the system takes, so I believe the best policy is to make it easier for turnover and prosecution for fraud; something not as easy with public unions fighting for the fraud.

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      • Corinthian Scales
        May 13, 2016 at 10:05 am

        Oh, of course it is. Then again, there be money o'plenty in them thar DeVos funded GLEP shills!

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  2. maidintheus
    May 12, 2016 at 10:25 pm

    These criminals still get their pensions?! I wish there were someone with a bully pulpit who would go all Trump on this issue (the whole of the DPS fiasco that has gone on for tears and the current issues). Likely, pressure of being called racist, a teacher hater and the like, would cause many to make hushing noises while siding with the politically correct.

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  3. Sue Schwartz
    May 13, 2016 at 9:13 am

    This writer has stated repeatedly, no bailout, bankruptcy, sell off DPS assets, etc. At the time, we didn't have the secreted knowledge that DPS was sitting on million$ of "legacy" funds from the Feds, but did have knowledge of 12 or so administrators with hands in the pot for years. Tax dollars being thrown at a system not working still doesn't make it work. And just because some attorneys say so??? Let the lawsuits begin I say--force DPS into bankruptcy which effectively dismisses the lawsuits. There, problem solved.

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  4. KG One
    May 13, 2016 at 9:50 am

    I remember having a similar "discussion" with Rep. McMillin on this site not too long ago when a similar situation occurred with Highland Park.

    Yes, the republican kakistocracy also argued heavily that they couldn't be cut off and that more money needed to be shoveled into the gaping maw that was Highland Park Public Schools.

    Well, here we are in 2016.

    Guess what, Lansing stopped writing blank checks for HPPS.

    And even better yet: much like Inkster, Muskegon Heights and Buena Vista, there is no longer a Highland Park Public School system.

    This point needs to be permanently driven into and subsequently hard-wired into the brain pans of the so-called "conservatives" up in Lansing.

    One more thing: Word on the street is that there is a reason for Lansing to be dragging its heels on performing any kind of audit. The repercussions to certain, (ahem) very well-connected individuals is so damning, that it makes the Flint Water fiasco look like amateur night at the local elementary school.

    And before anyone asks, no, they wouldn't give me names or even any hints as to whom those individuals might be.

    Take the above for what you will.

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  5. JD
    May 16, 2016 at 5:43 am

    The elephant in the room here is non-elected/unaccountable "non-profit' or "foundation' CONTROL every single time that a solution is offered (see Detroit's bankruptcy for one0 let alone ALREADY plaguing our children's everyday school experience:

    Michigan voters (seemingly) LOVE to hand over control or effectively dilute their own control (see the "Authority" or Tax Increment Financing models as well) over any major expenditure of their taxable income.

    Don't each and every one of us have a local "foundation" ALREADY seeking direct/unquestioned/behind closed doors control over our children's education through their (cough) no-strings-attached "gifts"?
    And haven't these same private "leaders" frankly ben doing a pretty decent job of EXERTING said (thug like) control over our schools..for what...'decades' now?
    How long ago was it that these same "saviors" (successfully) even claimed that Right to Work could be subverted by simply diverting teachers union dues to their very own "non-profit" coffers?

    I have a hard time blaming my legislators for in-our-face rewriting the entire sate constitution in terms of this control sans any meaningful debate as to the consequences of same out here in the grassroots. It's as if these foundation's "purely innocent" multi-billion dollar roles in the City of Detroit bailout (and every other fiasco) are purely an "after thought" vs the #1 crooked crony capitalism method of generational theft that we face at this time.

    One of the latest bills being proposed by Republicans and their lap dog delegates is a "$10 million increase for Utica schools ONLY" next year.

    Pretty soon this will be a "$10 million dollar donation to the 'Utica School Foundation' for (insert ridiculousness here).." and not a word will be said.

    After all...what taxpayer (now) dares publicly rail against or (heaven forbid) questions the very same pillars of our community doing so much 'good' in our rapidly evolving social justice focused new schools?

    Hasn't the recent Michigan Department of Education LGTBQ debate and purposely paralleled nation-wide transgender bathroom discussion effectively shut down ALL 'conservative' Michigan grassroots ACTION this year in a historic fashion only exceeded by (sadly) poisoned kids?

    When your local foundations are unquestionably 'riding herd' over your local community (and I strongly believe this to be the case here in Michigan more times than not) and you have no method of denying them this control due to traditional conservative grassroots refusals to even so much as DEBATE (let alone recognize) the problem /tackle it with a vengeance..our kids will certainly never know what hit them or how.
    Perhaps this is 'the plan' for conservative grassroots activists. Confrontation? nah.
    Instead of showing up in Lansing to actually CONFRONT those tearing down the tents all around them?
    Let's simply sit our grandchild on our knees and in a calming voice claim:
    "It's out of (y)our hands. "The (local) Foundation" runs your life now. They will make decisions for you that our legislators were previously both responsible and accountable for (let alone apathetic citizens). They will publish your name in the local paper IF you pledge both your loyalty and wages to them. If not, or you question absolutely anything of moral or spiritual value to yourself or others? will be ostracized from the community immediately."

    Today's parents and grandparents would just as soon have it this way. They don't want their kids on the Capital lawn being assaulted or having tents torn down on top of them...yet this very real future scenario has NOTHING to do with their overall safety (c'mon...they didn't even give a rip when the school informed them that their "precious" was going to soon be sharing a bathroom with...what?).
    It's about these kids being on that battlefield (someday soon) and their immediately/legitimately wondering WHY their parents/grandparents weren't obviously on that same lawn THEMSELVES in 2016.
    Put everything on the unaccountable/unassailable "foundation's" shoulders..anything-of-value-is-worth-fighting-for hypocritical problem solved.

    I almost forgot.
    Here is yet another upcoming pension-related gem having its roots in the 2012 "angry but silent patriot" movement" (or those who weren't necessarily that "angry" if he/she/his/hers had a pension 'problem' themselves):

    As many have offered here couldn't make this stuff up if you tried.

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  6. Granny55
    May 17, 2016 at 11:15 am

    Throwing hard earned taxpayer money at DPS is not the answer as the bottom line is to educate the children and DPS has provided zilch of any sort of education for these kids for more than 30 years. Now throw in the social justice warriors, BLM and transgendered issue/groups - why bother with providing them money to promote this crap. The kids still come out of DPS without even a basic 3rd grade education. Let them go belly up!

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