New plan calls for more school closings in Detroit

Jan 11, 2011

Update: 3:23 p.m.:

The Detroit News has changed the number of schools it reported in the DPS school closing plan -  going from 100 schools to 70 schools.

2:38 p.m.:

Facing a deficit in the hundreds of millions of dollars, a new plan calls for closing more schools in Detroit.

The Detroit News reports:

A proposed deficit-elimination plan for Detroit Public Schools calls for shuttering 100 additional schools by 2013 and increasing class sizes from 35 to 62 for high school students by 2014.

The plan was submitted to state education officials by the Detroit Public Schools Emergency Financial Manager, Robert Bobb.

DPS and Robert Bobb are in the midst of a current school closing plan. It calls for closing 45 schools over three years. Here's a map of the current closing plan:

View Michigan School Closures in a larger map

The Detroit News report says "starting this fall, the district also plans to increase class sizes in grades 4-12 and at all grade levels by fiscal 2012."

They say the plan proposes the following increases in average class sizes:

  • K-3 would go from 17 to 25 students to 29 in 2012-13 and 31 in fiscal 2014.
  • Grades 4-5 would go from 30 students to 37 in 2012-13 and 39 in 2014.
  • Grades 6-8 would go from 35 students to 45 in 2012-13 and 47 in 2014.
  • Grades 9-12 would go from 35 students to 60 in 2012-13 and 62 in 2014.

Detroit Federation of Teachers president Keith Johnson is quoted as saying:

"I will never agree to any class size increases. These increases are antithetical to learning. Secondly, our classrooms aren't even built to accommodate those numbers. You cannot effectively teach."

In addition to this plan, DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb has put forward a plan that calls for a GM style restructuring of the Detroit School system.