And the Michigan GOP credibility problem just grows and grows….
As reported earlier this week, The Detroit News discovered in emails they obtained through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request of Gov. Snyder’s office that, contrary to what the Governor had insisted, the “skunk works” secret education “reform” group was hatched at the highest levels in his administration.
Well, it seems the News found more high-level fibbing through additional FOIAs regarding a grant application the Education Achievement Authority filed last year with the U.S. Department of Education for $35.4 million to fund a five-year teacher merit pay program. Democracy Tree reported in January this year that the EAA’s unelected leader, Chancellor John Covington, was growing increasingly twitchy about the legislature codifying the district into state law — thereby gaining the level of authority he felt they needed to succeed. Democracy Tree also reported recently that they’ve been clandestinely receiving stop-gap loans from cash-strapped Detroit Public Schools to stay afloat — to the tune of $12 million this school year.
Documents now reveal that the grant application the EAA submitted overstated the legal authority of the nascent school district in order to gain approval. The application claimed that the EAA had already received its legislative stamp of approval even though at the time neither the Senate or House had passed the EEA bill, and it wasn’t until March of this year that the House passed their version, while in the Senate it remains stalled in Committee as of this date.
Chancellor Covington tried to explain the falsehood away thusly to The Detroit News: “It was absolutely, totally presumptive. That was the only way we could write the grant.”
Apparently, the lying paid-off for Covington — the EAA was approved for an initial grant payment of $1.6 million — the amount requested for the first year to run the current 15 schools in the district.
This kind of misbehavior is to be expected when unelected officials replace school boards.
Amy Kerr Hardin