The judge who oversaw Detroit’s municipal bankruptcy proceedings will now attempt to guide Detroit Public Schools out of emergency management. Steven Rhodes has been named the next emergency manager of DPS, though he prefers to be seen as a transition manager. Rhodes says he wants to be the middle man between the state and the district as the school system is returned to local control. How much influence can Rhodes have over the legislature in order to bring state aid to a district that desperately needs funding, and how will he work with a school board and superintendent?
Detroit Today host Stephen Henderson is joined by Bridge Magazine education reporter Chastity Pratt Dawsey to discuss Rhodes’ move to dealing with Detroit Public Schools.
“He has to be an ‘emergency manager,’” says Dawsey, regarding the title Rhodes will work under with DPS, ”Because emergency managers are in place until there’s no emergency.” Dawsey says she’s requested a copy of Rhodes’ contract with the state to see how the state describes the parameters of his job. “From what I can tell, [state officials] expect him to be here for only a short period of time.”
Dawsey says previous emergency managers with DPS have had difficulty getting a hold on the districts finances because they were so overwhelming, but Rhodes will have an easier time if the Legislature approves money to help the district.