Republican legislative leaders are asking Michigan's attorney general to issue an opinion on the state's authority to close persistently low-performing public schools in Detroit as soon as the end of this academic year.
The letter released Friday was written by Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof and House Speaker Kevin Cotter.
They want Republican Attorney General Bill Schuette to weigh in because Republican Gov. Rick Snyder interprets a law rescuing the Detroit district from debt to mean the State School Reform/Redesign Officer cannot close any district school until 2019.
The top lawmakers say the law's "plain language" authorizes Detroit school closures by the end of this school year and to say otherwise ignores legislative intent.
Attorney general opinions are legally binding on state agencies and officers unless reversed by a court.