Political roundup: Snyder in “awkward” position on Detroit school closings, Flint in Congress

Sep 30, 2016


It's time for another political roundup with Ken Sikkema and Susan Demas.

This week Attorney General Bill Schuette issued a legal opinion that poorly performing schools in Detroit can be closed at the end of the year, which runs counter to what Governor Snyder’s office has been saying.

The Snyder administration concluded that since the schools are part of a newly created district, they have three years before the state could step in and close the worst-performing schools.

Just another example of the attorney general and the governor butting heads.

“I can’t understand for the life of me why the governor would have put himself in this position,” Sikkema told us. “The governor’s relying on a legal opinion offered by a private law firm. I don’t understand why he didn’t go to the attorney general first, and why he would put himself in this, I think, extremely awkward position at this point in time.”

It’s been suggested in reports that the AG is doing the bidding of the DeVos family, who support charter schools and have given Schuette’s campaign funds substantial support over the years.

But Demas isn’t convinced that connection is so clear.

“There are actually a lot of tensions between Attorney General Bill Schuette and the DeVos family, and it’s kind of an open secret that they would like an alternative candidate to run against Bill Schuette in 2018 for governor,” she said.

Demas and Sikkema talk more about Schuette, federal aid for Flint, and The Detroit News’ endorsement of Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson in our conversation above.

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