State Treasurer, Andy Dillon, had a busy schedule this week –helping to ram-rod a bankruptcy filing for Detroit, and then obtaining court approval for joint restraining orders for himself and his ex-wife, not allowing them to have contact so, as his attorney explained, he won’t be distracted from his state duties.
Dillon’s job involved ordering the dissolution of both Buena Vista and Inkster schools under the new law the legislature rushed through at the close of their spring session at the behest of State Schools Superintendent Mike Flanagan. Dillon and Flanagan are forcing the cash-starved schools to close instead of the state deploying one of the other two hammers found in their tool box — emergency management and bankruptcy. Under their latest scheme, in the face of fiscal crisis, smaller districts will be forced to close permanently, while those that merit the high cost of emergency management will simply be taken over. The bankruptcy option of course, is reserved for large insolvent municipalities, like Detroit.
Democracy Tree has written several times on the myths and mistruths about consolidations and forced mergers. The numbers just don’t add up to a savings.
The superintendent of Wayne-Westland Community Schools, Gregory Baracy, expressed his concern about his district being forced to take on all of the Inkster district:
“It may look good on paper, but I don’t think anybody up there (in Lansing) has thought out the logistics of this — especially with only a month before school starts. We’ll do our best to comply with the law and we’ll certainly do whatever we can … to make it as comfortable and as seamless for families as we possibly can.”
At least the “receiving” school districts will get the full per pupil foundation grant from the state to compensate for the students they must take-on, plus a 10 percent bonus for four years. Residents of the dissolved school districts will remain liable for the full debt load –with no replacement source of revenue.
Brilliant guys, really.
Amy Kerr Hardin