Detroit Public Schools emergency manager presents financial plan at tense public meeting

May 11, 2016

The state-appointed manager of Detroit Public Schools laid out his plan to turn the struggling district around during a public meeting Tuesday night.

Judge Steven Rhodes told a hostile crowd that included teachers, students and community members that he's trying to set a path for long-term success for students and educators.

Dozens of people at the meeting repeatedly interrupted Rhodes during his presentation.

Some called for a forensic audit of the district's finances, while others demanded the district be returned to local control.

During the public comment portion of the meeting, members of the audience also asked for Rhodes to meet with the district's elected school board.

At first, Rhodes said he had no plans for such a meeting. After several pleas, he agreed to a meeting with the board as long as it was "civil."

After Rhodes explained his financial and operating plan, he encouraged people to contact lawmakers in Lansing about getting DPS the money it needs to keep its doors open.

He says money from the state under a $717 million Senate plan would be used "to substantially upgrade our buildings and facilities to make them more efficient."

A different $500 million proposal was approved last week by the state House.