A New Twist for Detroit Public SchoolsMonday, May 21, 2012 By Shayla Zimmerman
Many people have heard and worried about the budget cuts, increased unemployment, and crime rates. Detroit is now considered the poorest big city in America with a budget deficit of about $200 million. The debate of whether or not to call in an Emergency Financial Review Board is still on the rise. While the city council, Mayor Dave Bing, and Governor Rick Snyder try to come up with a solution that will work for all, the budget cuts are becoming a growing area of concern. These budget cuts are affecting all citizens in Detroit including their children and especially students. One of the biggest struggles is the Detroit Public Schools (DPS) who refuses to throw in the towel. Their new financial advisor is Roy Roberts who plans to reconstruct the whole DPS system. Roberts says “Over the course of the next year, we must lay a foundation for Detroit Public Schools that will enable sustained progress for years to come.” DPS will soon join in partnership with Excellent Schools Detroit that will begin to teach and align curriculum with ACT college readiness standards. Roberts is planning specific goals for DPS so the “self-governed” schools can begin to raise their standards in order to keep their rights and continue to be self-governed. According to the DPS homepage, once the debts are deducted he wants to place 97% of the state funds at the school level. Roberts has specific steps so those goals and others could be met. Such steps include diminishing the Detroit Public Schools deficit over the next five years and managing the budgets for the years 2012-2013. The new DPS will include nine elementary/middle schools and six high schools. These were all approved by the Education Achievement Authority. They will begin to open in September of 2012. According to the Detroit Public Schools News Center, Roberts said “Citywide we have a collective responsibility to serve Detroit’s children. Over time, we must move more and more of our students from seats in failing schools to seats in high performing schools. We have to be honest about where we are succeeding and where we are failing.” Someone is willing to change the education for these students and give them the learning they deserve. A man once said, “The big city that surrounds you is going to affect how your small city will be.” We are called metro-Detroit for a reason, so when Detroit is in jeopardy so is our community.