A couple weeks ago, we reported on the legislative controversies surrounding the predominately black schools districts in Memphis and Detroit. Here is the update on both situations:
In February, the state of Michigan ordered the city of Detroit to close half of its schools in order to balance the city’s budget. In an effort to prevent the closures, Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb, offered several alternative solutions, the most viable being converting 41 of the 70 schools slated for closure into privately run charter schools. Faced with roadblocks from the Board of Education, the state legislature on sent a bill to Gov. Rick Snyder’s desk that grants broad powers to emergency financial managers, allowing Bobb to move forward with the charter school conversion without approval from the elected school board. This legislature is highly controversial.
In Tennessee, the school districts are run by the counties. However, the mostly black city of Memphis schools are a separate district from the mostly white rest of their county. Memphis schools asked to merge with the suburbs, making their district lines the same as the rest of the State’s. The suburbs said no. A hotly contested measure was (more…)