DPS may have to consolidate more schools

Detroit Public Schools face $120 million deficit

DETROIT – Matthew Taylor's daughter Alexis is a student at a Detroit public school.

He's concerned about how the district is planning to get out of a $120 million hole. He doesn't want it to come at the expense of his daughter's neighborhood school.

"It's right up the street, a coupe blocks over. She can get there, and if anything happens I can get there, too," he said.

Leaders at Detroit Public Schools plan to meet with education and treasury officials in Lansing on Tuesday to discuss the district's deficit elimination plan that was submitted just last month. The district is considering 40-plus proposals including closing and consolidating schools.

Little Alexis doesn't support that proposal. She said she likes her teachers.

"I love my school," she said. "It's big, it's clean on the inside."

DPS spokesman Steve Wasko said shuffling students around to other schools is not likely to happen. He said the money it would save the district is not worth the cost to students and parents.
"The fact of the matter is if we can continue to stabilize our enrollment, as we did this past year, there will be less need for any consolidation -- hopefully no need for any consolidation in the future years," he said.

Wasko believes DPS is on the right track to go from red to black in about three to four years without harming the classroom.

"Will it be easy? No. Will it take sacrifices on everyone's part? Of course it will. But we want to make sure we make those decisions in the best interest of the children in Detroit Public Schools," he said.