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The Detroit Journalism Cooperative is an integrated community media network providing insight on the issues facing Detroit. It features two radio stations, an online magazine, five ethnic newspapers, and a public television station-- All working together to tell the story of Detroit.The DJC includes Michigan Radio, Bridge Magazine, Detroit Public Television, WDET, and New Michigan Media. To see all the stories produced for the DJC, visit The Intersection website.Scroll below to see DJC stories from Michigan Radio and other selected stories from our partners.

DPS board meets for the last time, as "old" school district is eliminated

DPS EM Steven Rhodes, center, takes notes at a meeting with Detroit's elected school board.
Sarah Cwiek
Michigan Radio

The Detroit Public Schools’ board of education met for the final time ever on Thursday.

The board has very little to do now as part of the "old,” debt-ridden DPS.

It will be replaced by a “new” district, run by a “transition manager”—currently the district’s last emergency manager, Judge Steven Rhodes.

Gov. Snyder just signed bills setting up this bankruptcy-style restructuring just last week.

Board members are going out fighting, though. One of their final acts was to spearhead a lawsuit, which seeks an injunction against the legislation that changed the structure of DPS.

Board president Lamar Lemmons says the state’s solution to the old district’s impending bankruptcy amounted to “confiscation through legislation.”

“The normal process to acquire the property of an entity would be the judicial process, where there would be due process as well as discovery to determine the penalty, or the action of court,” he said. “What they’ve done is imposed the penalty of bankruptcy, without due process.”

Lemmons says the current “board in exile,” as some members have dubbed it, will continue to meet and fight for public education in Detroit.

Some of those board members plan to run for the board of the “new” district, which will be voted on in November.

That board won’t be fully empowered, though. The legislation mandates that a state-appointed financial review commission, which oversees Detroit finances post-bankruptcy, also have financial oversight of the new school district.

CORRECTION: An earlier version of this story said the current school board was dissolved. While it effectively has no powers, the current board will legally continue to exist until the seven members of the new community district board are elected and assume office on January 1st.

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