DALLAS – The Detroit Public Schools Community District will take over the schools currently run by the Educational Achievement Authority, which competes with district for state school funding dollars.
DPSCD, which announced the plans Monday, will take responsibility for the EAA schools and their students in June. The EAA will then dissolve in July.
Fourteen former Detroit Public Schools are under control of the EAA which was set up and run by the state in 2012 to run the lowest-performing schools. The EAA was Gov. Snyder's key education reform initiative that was supposed to serve as a statewide school reform district.
There are about 6,500 students attending the EAA-run schools, according to EAA chancellor Veronica Conforme. Together, both districts serve more than 50,000 students and deliver instruction in more than 100 facilities throughout the City of Detroit.
Making that transition as smooth as possible will be the mission between now and July, according to Detroit Public Schools Community District transition manager Steven Rhodes.
"We have formed a transition team to transition the EAA students, schools and resources to DPSCD," Rhodes said Monday at a press conference.
Detroit Public Schools was formally divided into two separate entities on July 1 in connection with a $600 million state package approved this year by state lawmakers as the district grappled with insolvency.
DPSCD, which operates schools and will receive the future state aid payments, receives a per pupil allowance of $7,552.
The former district, referred to as Old Co, remains intact solely to continue to collect its tax millage and repay its tax-backed bonds and will become the obligor of state aid bonds Oct. 1 when the aid shifts to the new district that operates schools.
The EAA has also agreed to pay DPS $2.5 million dollars to settle outstanding rent and services it owed to DPSCD. The amount is only a fraction of the $14.8 million the EAA was said to owe for two years' back rent and services.
Officials at the news conference Monday said that the EAA has spent money on upgrading technology and made other improvements to the schools. "They are returning to DPSCD not just the schools that we lease to them. They are returning the school back in a much improved condition," said Rhodes.
Voters in the Detroit Tuesday are picking DPSCD's school board, which come into office in January. The new board will hire a superintendent and hold policy-making authority but the Detroit Financial Review Commission will oversee its finances and hiring of key administrators.