EM Roy Roberts extends his stay
Editor: Emergency Manager Roy Roberts sent this letter to Detroit Public School employees on Nov. 7, the day after the public defeated Public Act 4, which gave him dictatorial power as emergency manager. Roberts, a former vice president of sales and marketing for General Motors and with no known education or financial credentials, was appointed by Gov. Rick Snyder. His claims of financial success have not been verified as he refuses to honor Freedom of Information Act requests.
“Given the outcomes of yesterday’s election, I felt it critical that I take a few minutes to update you on where things stand with Detroit Public Schools.
“First and foremost, the renewal of our operating millage (Proposal S) — by an overwhelmingly positive margin — ensures that teaching and learning will continue uninterrupted for the nealy 50,000 students our 100 school buildings. I cannot thank the Detroit community, most especially our religious community, enough for their continued support and for never turning their backs on Detroit’s school children.
“I am certain that we could not have achieved this important outcome without the support of the Detroit School Board, the Detroit Federation of Teachers and all of our other school unions, as well as our administrators, teachers and staff who helped us inform the community about how vital this millage renewal is to the District.
“There are great things happening in DPS and the passage of Proposal S means that they will continue. We should all be very proud of this.
“Although the vote was extremely close, the people of Michgan have spoken as it relates to Proposal 1. However, I know in my heart that the challenge we all face today is exactly the same challenge that we were faced with yesterday — educating the children of Detroit.
“It is regrettable that so much of the focus leading up to the election was about who is in charge and not about the real results that were able to be accomplished under PA4 in such a limited amount of time — including the reduction of the District’s deficit from $327 million to $74 million, as well as two consecutive balanced budgets and two operating surpluses (which also resulted in a shared savings bonus for DPS employees.
“Until the vote is officially certified in 30 days, I will continue to operte under the exisiting statute and Judge Murphy’s order that I am responsible for finances and the Board of Education is responsible for academics.
“I have also reached out to the School Board to schedule a meeting to discuss how we can move forward in the best interest of educating Detroit’s children. I am confident that as long as we can keep the focus on the children, we can work together to make Detroit Public Schools a leader in public education once again.”
Roy S. Roberts