Michigan Senate approves overhaul of Detroit schools

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LANSING, MI (WLNS) – The Michigan Senate has approved a restructuring plan to divide Detroit’s financially and academically ailing school district in two and put in place a mechanism to pay off hundreds of millions of dollars in operating debt.

The main bill was approved 21-16 Tuesday by the Republican-controlled chamber, nearly 11 months after Gov. Rick Snyder first proposed splitting the 46,000-student district that has been under state financial management for seven years.

Students would attend a new district that could obtain $200 million in state funds for transition costs. A new school board would be elected in August, a board of state appointees would have oversight of finances and an education commission of mayoral appointees would be empowered to determine if some schools open or close.

The legislation next goes to the House for consideration.

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