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GOVERNOR APPOINTS DETROIT SCHOOL REVIEW PANEL – Responding to State Superintendent of Public Instruction Mike Flanagan’s request, Governor Granholm this week appointed a financial review team to examine the financial condition of the Detroit Public School System. The five member team will consist of Mr. Flanagan, State Treasurer Robert Kleine and Department of Management and Budget Director Lisa Webb Sharpe—all mandatory appointments under the law—Mr. Timothy Weeks, Superintendent for Business Services for the Bloomfield Public Schools, and the Reverend Oscar W. King, III, pastor of the Detroit Northwest Unity Baptist Church and President of the Council of Baptist Pastors of Detroit and Vicinity. Mr. Weeks was nominated by Senate Majority Leader Mike Bishop (R-Rochester) while Reverend King was selected by House Speaker Andy Dillon (D-Redford Twp.).
The panel has 30 days to review the district’s fiscal condition and submit its findings regarding the existence of a financial emergency to the Governor and the Superintendent. To avoid the declaration of a financial emergency, the Review Team can enter into a pact with the district that outlines the specific steps the district must undertake to address the problem. If an emergency exists, and the two parties cannot enter into a pact, Mr. Flanagan has the authority to declare a “financial emergency.” That announcement would require Mr. Flanagan to submit three names to the Governor from which the Governor would name an Emergency Financial Manager who would assume full authority over the district’s financial matters and who would make all financial decisions.