Tonya Allen says local control of schools is crucial in restoring hope for Detroiters, a way forward for DPS

Media Contact: 
Natalie Fotias, communications officer
nfotias@skillman.org or 313-393-1179 

DETROIT – Tonya Allen, Skillman Foundation president & CEO and co-chair of the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, addressed media today, pressing the importance of moving away from emergency management and returning local control of schools to Detroiters. 

Allen also announced today that she has declined an offer to help lead Detroit Public Schools’ transition as an interim superintendent. She added that she is committed to improving both DPS and charter schools, so that all Detroit kids get the education they deserve. Allen said she will continue to lead the Skillman Foundation and serve as a co-chair of the Coalition. She also said she was prepared to serve as a volunteer external member of a DPS transition team.  

“It’s critical that those closest to kids select the interim leader,” said Allen. “Educators need someone from the inside and they need ownership of the decision. Reforming Detroit schools is a long-term endeavor that Detroiters must lead.” 

Allen also expressed optimism that pragmatic voices in both chambers of the Legislature are recognizing the importance of Detroiters having ownership and accountability for their schools.