Snyder’s Plan for Roads and Detroit Public Schools

Stephen Henderson talks with Governor Rick Snyder (R) about the future of Detroit Public Schools and what the governor plans to do about Michigan’s roads after Proposal 1 failed.  

  • Mayor Duggan’s plan for DPS:  Governor Snyder thinks Duggan’s plan is positive, and that they will be able to have a productive conversation about it and create a comprehensive, specific plan.  He wants to wait for feedback from the legislature and a wider spectrum of people before drawing precise conclusions. 
  • Debt vs. governance:  Snyder says that fixing Detroit schools is a multi-part question.  He says school district governance and debt management are distinct issues, and that student achievement should be the priority. 
  • State responsibility: Because the state of Michigan backs much of DPS’s debt, Snyder believes Michigan has a responsibility to Detroit schools to fix that debt.  He has proposed that Michigan will absorb Detroit’s debt, and other school districts will help pay it back.  This plan is unpopular, but Snyder claims that it reflects the state’s responsibility to support student outcomes, as well as financial responsibility.   
  • Climbing out of the pothole:  After the failure of Prop 1, which would have funded road repairs, Governor Snyder says that he is continuing to work to find ways to fund road repair.  He says this is difficult because it could involve a tax increase. 
  • The role of taxes and the government: Stephen points out that some Democrat and liberals believe that Michigan taxes are too regressive, and businesses and wealthy people are not paying enough in taxes.  Snyder says that he believes Michigan does provide people with the opportunity for upward mobility and that the government can be a facilitator of economic success, but it cannot fix every problem.  He points out that a tax overhaul would require constitutional changes. 

Click the audio link above to hear the full conversation.