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Schools should give 30-days notice before closing, says State Representative Stephanie Chang

Boy in classroom with his hand raised
Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
HB 4090 would make schools give 30 days notice before closing

Schools would have to give parents at least a month's notice before closing, under a bill (HB 4090) re-introduced by State Representative Stephanie Chang (D-Detroit).

Schools that are slated for closure for financial reasons would also have to shut down in the summer in most cases.

"It's irresponsible to close schools in the fall or winter or spring if isn't an emergency situation," says Chang.  "If school's closing in October, and the school year basically just started, then it really is disruptive to a child's education."

The bill would also require schools that have been closed to be secured against vandalism within 60 days.

More broadly, Chang has concerns about the criteria being used to close schools.  She says Michigan has changed the way it tests student achievement several times, so closing schools based on them is an unfair apples-to-oranges process.

Chang also thinks the state needs to provide more funding to schools at risk of closing.

State officials just released a list of 38 underperforming schools that may be closed.  The schools have been in the bottom five percent of academic achievement for three years in a row.  Twenty-five of the underperforming schools are in Detroit.

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
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