Detroit schools forced to extend year by 10 days in some cases

Bates Academy is one Detroit Public School where students will be in class until June 26

By Roger Weber - Reporter

DETROIT - Detroit Public Schools have made it official: The school year is being extended anywhere from thee days to as many as 10.

Extreme winter weather and issues with power outages within the Detroit Public Lighting system are to blame.

At Bates Academy, parents and students are finding out that the school year will be extended by 10 days. Students will be in the classroom until June 26.

Boiler problems cause three of the missed days at Bates.

"It's not their problem that the boiler went out. It's not their problem that the lights went out. That's the school's problem, so why punish the children?" said Richardo Brantley, a parent.

Most DPS schools will have to make up three or four days. Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson said 75 percent attendance is normally required to qualify for state aid. It has been lowered to 60 percent for the extended year. However, even the lower threshold will be a problem.

"I really wonder how many of those parents are going to bring their children to school for those additional two weeks to enable them to meet the 60 percent threshold," said Johnson. "If they don't then again DPS gets penalized."

Like many students, 7th-grader Teayahna Ferrel is worried about what her summer will look like.

"I want to play softball. I want to go with my friends, and how am I supposed to do this with the extra school week?" she said.

DPS could lose millions if not enough students show up for class.

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