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New Detroit schools legislation fails to address “ongoing structural problems,” report says

Mercedes Mejia
Michigan Radio
Nearly one in every five DPS students qualifies for some special education services.

Does the newly-passed state rescue plan for Detroit's public schools do enough to meet the future needs of the struggling district and its students?

A newly-released study from the non-partisan Citizens Research Council of Michigan points to growing challenges in funding the education of Detroit's kids -- factors the new state plan did not take into account.

Craig Thiel with the CRC joined us today to discuss the findings. 

The report is titled Public School Enrollment Trends in Detroit.

Some of the key facts include:

  • While Detroit's population dropped 34% from 1990 to 2015, DPS enrollment fell 73%
  • DPS is no longer the majority educator of Detroit students, teaching only 41% of Detroit kids
  • For the current school year, nearly one in every five DPS students  qualifies for some special education services

Thiel told us that the state's new rescue plan will certainly help DPS in the short term, but he adds that the state will have to do more to address the district's "ongoing structural problems" of declining enrollment, rising numbers of special education students, and a shrinking market share.

GUEST Craig Thiel is Senior Research Associate for the Citizens Research Council for Michigan.

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