By Sandra Hines
After reviewing accounts that have taken place on the dismantling of DPS, I find the EFM legislation coming out of Lansing, mind boggling. “Justice has been tardy” in the war to save DPS and many policies have been evoked by the Michigan Legislators.
The Coalition to Restore Hope to DPS’ goal has always been to educate our children in a manner above reproach. We try to impress upon others that we have to fight for our children whenever opportunities arise. We saw the handwriting on the wall when Mr. Bobb rode in, on a Trojan Horse welcomed by many. No teacher, board member, parent, nor child, had time to bestow a thought on what was about to happen, it was a matter wholly outside the realm of our understanding. Some didn’t rightly see how distressed their circumstances were about to become in the fight to save our city by saving DPS.
Many did not realize how the effect of closing schools, would negatively impact our communities. Detroiters did not know how vital DPS was. Dismantling DPS opened the flood gates to push through the EFM legislation which allowed Mr. Bobb to roll out the plan to convert 41 schools into charters. Closing down DPS, also fit into Mayor Bing’s plan, to downsize Detroit. Closing our schools has contributed to blighted neighborhoods and crime ridden communities. There’s no longer access to computer technology, a place to meet or recreational activities that were provided by DPS, driving residents out of the city, thereby reducing our tax base.
This EFM law is in direct opposition to the will of the people in the City of Detroit. The Coalition to Restore Hope to DPS refuses to be held in captive by Robert Bobb or any other accomplice in this unlawful, premeditated demise of our school district and city. The total breakdown and silence from the school board during this takeover is baffling. These draconian measures outlined in the EFM law are ostensibly designed to destabilize and funnel scarce public funds away from educational programs while giving the EFM unlimited power.
There has been a shift in the manner in which public officials now function. Many are not driven by high ethical and professional standards. It has been alleged by the media that DPS board President Anthony Adams does not live in the city of Detroit or in the district he represents, district five. What implications does this allegation raise? Why would a high ranking official fraudulently falsify his place of residence? As board president why would Mr. Adams support Bobb’s proposal to close 41 schools, in DPS? Officials who don’t live in Detroit, but want to make policy and decisions for Detroit, should do the right thing and step down. We must hold everyone accountable in upholding the law. The law is what we will use to fight the EFM legislation and win.
The corruption has to end. No one is above the law. We cannot look the other way anymore, because we have a relationship with someone. If a person is malfeasant, we must confront their evil doing. To ignore and the law and give favors to those who boldly break the law makes that person an accessory and complaisant. These law breakers have to be held accountable for their actions, for they dim our eyes and block our vision, and the vision for Detroit must be one rooted in the law, and dignity, thus giving us a renewed spirit.
Let us bring forward a cultural rebirth and harness DPS’ great past, the great past long before Robert Bobb and his team players, those who have sacrificed our children for short power and long money.
Our children have suffered the most casualties and our city the most land grabs. However it’s not over. The Coalition to Restore Hope to DPS will continue to work toward comprehensive educational programing and reform. DPS will rise against these insurmountable barriers as we emerge victorious. We cannot let Mr. Robert Bobb control the state of Michigan. Michigan’s future will be determined by our prize possessions, our children.
Sandra Hines is Co-Chair of the Coalition to Restore Hope to DPS and owner of Families United Now.
On April 8, 2o11, the Coalition filed suit against Robert Bobb. The lawsuit can be read in its entirety by clicking on coalition_v_bobb. It outlines his failure under the previous and current Emergency Financial Manager state statutes to provide regular reports on the internet detailing:
- “A description of each expenditure made, approved or disapproved during the reporting period that has a cumulative value of $10,000 or more and the source of the funds.
- A list of each contract that the emergency financial manager awarded or approved with a cumulative value of $10,000 or more, the purpose of the contract, and the identity of the contractor.
- A description of each loan sought, approved or disapproved during the reporting period that has a cumulative value of $10,000 or more and the proposed use of the funds.
- A description of any new position created or any vacancy in a permanent position that has been filled by the appointing authority.
- A description of any position that has been eliminated or from which an employee has been laid off.
It goes on to say, “Mr. Bobb has breached a clear legal duty to post the required information in a report so the public can view, comment, question and/or challenge his expenditures and decisions as it relates to use of taxpayer funds for Detroit Public Schools.
It adds, “The public has been harmed as a result of Mr. Bobb’s failure to be transparent, as he is now proposing to close a majority of DPS buildings due to financial reasons. However, the public has no idea how Mr. Bobb handled the money prior to deciding so many schools had to be closed.”
The lawsuit asks the judge to issue a declaratory judgment stating Bobb is in violation of the law for failing to provide the reports, that a writ of mandamus be issued ordering Bobb to provide the required outstanding reports and to comply with the law in the future.
The lawsuit has been assigned to be heard by Wayne County Circuit Court Judge John Gillis.
For further information from the Coalition to Restore Hope to DPS, call 313-778-4393.
(Go to VOD http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=5306, http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=5320, http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=5322, and http://voiceofdetroit.net/?p=5324 to read Russ Bellant’s detailed study of Robert Bobb’s history of corruption and malfeasance in this and other school districts and governments he managed.)