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Detroit School Board Going to Court to Oust Emergency Manager

The Detroit Public Schools' board and the emergency manager are having a bit of a disagreement over whether the board can remove him, and the two are headed to court on Oct. 1 to settle it, according to the Detroit Free Press.

At the core of the dispute is the interpretation of state law PA 436 which gives the governing body—by a two-thirds vote—the ability to remove an emergency manager, if he or she has been in place for at least 18 months.

The dispute centers over whether the clock started ticking when the law went into effect in March 2013 or when Jack Martin was appointed emergency manager by Gov. Rick Snyder in July 2013, according to the paper. 

The school board is arguing that Martin should leave in late September, and is asking a county judge to rule that it can remove him from his position, the Detroit Free Press reports. The board voted to fire Martin in July, but that action has been, to date, largely symbolic.

Martin's attorneys think the school board is not reading the law properly. An assistant state attorney general argued in court filings that Martin cannot be removed until January—the conclusion of 18 months after his appointment, according to the paper.

The financially strapped district, which has a $127 million deficit, has been under state emergency management since 2009.

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