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Possible settlement in Detroit schools lawsuit

Robert Bobb
Robert Bobb
The Detroit School Board has approved a settlement that could end a
long-running lawsuit with the district’s Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb.
The Board voted ten-to-one in favor of a settlement that would give them control over the district’s academics. 
A Wayne County Circuit Judge ruled last year that Bobb had overstepped his authority by setting academic standards without consulting the Board.

School Board attorney George Washington says the proposal reflects the judge’s ruling that the Board has academic authority.
“Because as the Judge said, that’s their role. The Emergency financial manager is just that, a financial manager. Not an academic czar.”

Bobb must still approve the settlement, and it’s unclear whether he will.
A Bobb spokesman says the Board’s proposal contained some language the two sides didn’t negotiate.
Update: Steve Wasko, a spokesman for Robert Bobb, says of the Board-approved settlement proposal: "If it's the final word, it's not something we can agree to."

Wasko says during negotiations, School Board members agreed to let Bobb have some say in appointing a new Superintendent, and basically keep Bobb's current academic plan in place. That language wasn't in this settlement.

The case could end up back in court next month.
Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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