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Letter to Michigan Legislature in Opposition of House DPS Plan

Dear Senator Meekhof:

Serving the business community for over 100 years, the Detroit Regional Chamber pursues its mission to grow our regional economy by focusing on four main pillars: economic development, regional collaboration, membership value and education reform.  The Chamber was extremely disheartened with the manner in which the Michigan House of Representatives chose to address the fiscal and academic crisis in Detroit Public Schools.  The Chamber unequivocally opposes the legislation and asks you to reject it.

While the House plan may balance the short-term finances it does not address the long-term root causes of the DPS crisis.  Failing to include the Detroit Education Commission is a glaring omission and potentially fatal flaw that ensures future Legislatures will eventually have to take additional action to address the disastrous financial and academic performances of both public and charter schools in Detroit. The DEC is unanimously supported by the public, private and philanthropic leadership in Detroit.  We now look to the Senate for continued leadership. Children in Detroit have been underserved by the entire education system for decades. We cannot ask another generation to accept a failed model from their state government.

The Chamber is thankful for your leadership on this issue and continues to support the legislation that was so thoughtfully crafted by Senator Goeff Hansen. This is too important to allow politics to overshadow what is best for the 110,000 students that have a right to a quality education. Not long ago, the Legislature played an important role in the historic Grand Bargain. That same leadership is needed to address the DPS crisis and continue Michigan’s comeback.

Sincerely,

Brad Williams

Vice President, Government Relations