Detroit Schools Restructuring Gives Principals More Power

By Corey Mitchell — June 05, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Detroit school district Emergency Manager Darnell Earley is streamlining the district’s central office operations, granting principals more power in the process.

Earley’s strategy includes streamlining 60 departments down to five core divisions. Earley will run one division and deputy superintendents will operate the other four. The plan also shifts more professional development and school budgeting responsibilities to principals.

The restructuring is expected to be complete by July 2016. Earley expects the decentralization effort will eventually save around $10 million per year.

“In order for (the Detroit schools) to not only survive, but thrive, it could no longer operate like a school district from 50 or even 20 years ago,” Earley said in a statement.

The district “must completely restructure the way it does business, focusing all of its resources on where they will have the most impact&mdahs;in the system’s school buildings and classrooms, and on giving increased autonomy and pushing resources down to building leadership.”

School leaders did not release information on how many school administrators could lose their jobs in the district’s latest administrative staff shakeup.

The Detroit Free Press reports that two key, high-ranking staffers, the chief operating officer and head of academics, will leave the district at the end of this month. The district’s chief financial officer left last month.

State and city leaders have spent the last three months rolling out grand plans to improve education in the financially-strapped district, which has lost about 100,000 students over the past two decades. The district currently has about 47,000 students.

In March, Earley introduced a restructuring plan aimed at stabilizing the district’s finances and boosting academic performance.

In late April, Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder proposed splitting DPS into two entities, one that would exist only to pay off $483 million in district debt and the other to educate children.

The Free Press reports that the plan so far has gotten a cool reception from some state lawmakers over concerns that it would lead to per-pupil funding reductions for other districts.

Related Tags:

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.