Former Oakland City Manager Robert Bobb, who is not known for shying away from controversy, is proposing to close 23 schools in Detroit and lay off 600 teachers. Bobb took over as financial czar of the troubled Detroit public school system earlier this year after almost returning to Oakland to become city administrator. Detroit schools have been hard hit by declining enrollment and the steep recession. Sound familiar?
Bobb's response is to save money by closing under-enrolled schools and sending the kids to other public schools. We'll see if Bobb gets the same overheated reaction as he would surely receive in Oakland if he tried to do the same thing. So far, it doesn't look like it, because the Detroit teachers' union appears to be already on board with his plan.