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Detroit to close half of its public schools: "Swift and severe changes are coming."

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posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 06:49 PM
Well, this is pretty sad and speaks for itself. The litany of slashed budgets continues, but did you ever think you'd live to see a time when one of the biggest cities in America is forced to close half its schools?

One effect of slashing educational revenue to the bone and beyond for years on end is that fewer and fewer people are educated enough to even see it happening. Of course, all the blame cannot be placed on the mean old budget-slashers. After all, if their predecesors (and the people who voted them in) had understood the need to act responsibly and reigned in their reckless financial habits decades ago, we wouldn't be faced with this charming mess.

Michigan orders DPS to make huge cuts
Bobb told to consolidate services, close half of schools to end deficit

Swift and severe changes are coming to Detroit Public Schools.

State education officials have ordered Robert Bobb to immediately implement a financial restructuring plan that balances the district's books by closing half of its schools, swelling high school class sizes to 60 students and consolidating operations.

...The district needs $219 million by March, and its bond insurer, Assured Guaranty Municipal Corp., wants the state to guarantee DPS won't file for bankruptcy. Bobb told lawmakers the district has no such intentions.

Bobb has said school closures, bigger classes and other measures would be needed if he cannot get help from lawmakers to restructure finances in the state's largest school district. DPS considered but declined to file for bankruptcy in 2009 Experts say DPS has an uphill battle for financial stability.

Revenue is down dramatically, enrollment losses average 8,000 students a year and pension and health care costs weigh on the district.

And the bad news continues. Among DPS' fiscal challenges: An expected loss of $273.87 in its per-pupil foundation grant of $7,660. The loss is the result of a projected 83 percent property tax collection rate in Detroit for fiscal 2011. Last week, Gov. Rick Snyder proposed a $470 per-pupil cut for all Michigan districts.

A general fund budget strapped with annual fixed costs such as $52.6 million in pension costs, $44.6 million for health care, $26.8 million in utilities, $6.6 million in public safety and $3.5 million in unemployment. Continuing enrollment declines. DPS has lost 83,336 students in the last decade, leading to a loss in state aid of more than $573 million.

The district's deficit grew by $100 million in the last year — to $327 million — forcing it to deepen its reliance on short- and long-term borrowing, which costs DPS $55 million a year in principal and interest payments.

More at the source (The Detroit News):

edit on 2/22/11 by silent thunder because: (no reason given)

[Mod edit - added ex tags]
edit on 22/2/2011 by Sauron because: (no reason given)

posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 06:54 PM
Things like this were bound to happen with us having a monetary system based on debt

Expect more things like this to come in the future

posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 07:00 PM
It always seems to surprise me that our leaders never seem to lead the way. While they scream that there is no more money for social programs, firefighters, police and teachers they never take a look in the mirror and slash their own pay checks. They never cut their own benefits while slashing the benefits of others.

The unions on the other hand scream for more wages and better benefits from a state that can not afford to meet their demands.

posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 07:06 PM
Can't say I'm surprised. As much as I hate to say it.......It's detroit.
Some of these schools need to be closed.
Some have reported strings of break-ins, some vandalized beyond belief and broken down beyond repair.
I just hope with the closing they can implement a LEAN ON ME system.**GREAT MOVIE**

With literacy rate as low as it is you wonder what these teachers are doing in the classroom.
They need to weed out the teachers that really want to see a difference and stick them in the remaining schools.
something needs to change

posted on Feb, 22 2011 @ 07:39 PM
As much as I enjoyed public schooling, home schooling is far more advantageous if home is a good environment. If the public schools continue teaching kids lies and we have to pay to send our kids to a unsafe/uncaring environment then good, I'm glad they're closing! Maybe if parents have to teach thier kids they'll actually get the education they deserve!

posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 09:29 AM
The most disturbing news: SIXTY students to a classroom. What a joke. Good luck graduating anyone with a quality education under those circumstances.

posted on Feb, 23 2011 @ 09:40 AM

Originally posted by Sphota
The most disturbing news: SIXTY students to a classroom. What a joke. Good luck graduating anyone with a quality education under those circumstances.

This is strictly anecdotal, but when I went to grade school -- IN DETROIT -- back in the sixties, there were easily 50 kids to a classroom. We all learned to read, write, add and subtract, etc. etc. etc. We even went on to graduate from High School and University. The irony is, as classroom sizes seemed to shrink, so did performance levels. It really isn't the size of the classroom...... it's the quality of the teachers and the motivation of the parents and their children that is necessary to produce results in the education system.

posted on Feb, 24 2011 @ 05:04 PM
reply to post by benevolent tyrant

If 60 is conjecture, then so be it, but I'm not sure how you are going to close half the public schools and expect class sizes to be smaller, so while it may or may not be as high as 60, I guarantee it will not be on the lower end.

As far as class size vis-a-vis pedagogy:

I beg to differ. I notice a big difference between teaching 20 students and teaching 27. The difference is hinged on more time spent dealing with individual problems or difficulties that my students might be having. Class goes by much smoother when I have a class with 20.

Last semester I allowed an extra four students into one section, an extra 2 into another - well over the department cap of 24. I certainly noticed the difference as far as how much time individual assignments and activities take to go over or explain. Keep in mind, we're not talking these 300 seat lectures, where the professor talks and talks and you just write it down and study in groups.

As far as pre-university goes, the students need individualized attention to some extent. Also, there are issues of behavior (how is one person to discipline one student for 3 minutes of an hour long class, while 59 others just sit there). What if there is a group of students making a ruckus on one side of the class, while other students are trying to be on task near and around them while the teacher is on the other side of the classroom helping two students who don't get it. And then there is the question of evaluation.

Many people assume that a teacher's job ends at 3pm (when it comes to grade school levels). But what about lesson planning? What about grading? Creation of homework assigments, tests, activities and so forth? Do you think that just gets done during classtime? And then to have to grade twice as many students' tests, homework, compositions, and reports, as well as deal with that many more troubled, non-native English speakers or special needs children (potentially) is asking quite a bit.

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