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Gov. Jennifer Granholm announced a commitment this morning to extend the contract of Robert Bobb, Detroit Public Schools emergency financial manager. She said his “zero-tolerance approach is exactly what the doctor ordered.”

The contract has not been finalized and details were not available.

Granholm and Bobb were joined at Davis Aerospace High School in Detroit by NAACP President Wendell Anthony and Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson, who each praised the decision to keep Bobb an additional year after his current $260,000 deal will end March 1. Bobb said financial details of his extension will be finalized later.

Bobb said he expects to use the extra time to work on sustainability.

He said the district has an emergency not only in finances — but also in reading, attendance, security — and in some instances, parenting.

Bobb thanked the governor and quoted his grandmother who said, “Once a job has begun, never leave it until it’s done.”

Bobb and other officials used today’s announcement as a platform to speak in favor of Proposal S, the $500.5-million bond measure that will appear on the ballot Tuesday.

Granholm appointed Bobb to oversee the troubled district’s finances starting in March.

Granholm said Bobb is addressing a “deficit of hope” as well as the district’s $259-million budget deficit.

Dolores Smith-Jackson, a school activist and co-chair of the Yes on S campaign, said Bobb’s extension should give voters confidence that the bond funds will be properly spent.

“He’s going to get the job done,” she said.

Bobb has closed 29 schools and is restructuring the district to help save money and improve academics while boosting enrollment.


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