Detroit Public Schools Beg for Children

Monday, September 25, 2006
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The Detroit public school system is a festering blister getting worse each year. This year, on the heels of a teacher’s strike, the schools are begging for students, and why? For one, the district is losing students to charter schools, and thus the non-charter, public system is seeing huge drops each year in student enrollment. The other reason is truancy — the kids don’t want to go to school and so they just stop going. The district gets $7,459 for each student that it enrolls, so the loss of funding grows each year.

Tomorrow is the “official count” day wherein state bureaucrats show up to do a physical count of kids in chairs. Thus far this year, the district says it is minus an astonishing 25,000+ students, which means the Detroit public schools could lose almost $2 million in funding, which will lead to drastic cutbacks and school closings. (Though observers say that the DPS system consistently “games” its student numbers, which makes sense, because most people doubt the count that puts the DPS system down by 25,000 students.)

For the last couple of weeks, the school system has been running a massive (and embarrassing) campaign to get students in the classroom on Wednesday, September 27, no matter what it takes. These bozos have spent a fortune (a reported $500k) on public relations and marketing to make this happen. All over the local news, the radio, and the local newspapers, school officials are BEGGING parents to send their kids to a Detroit school for one day, in order to be counted. They are offering raffles, prizes, pizza and ice cream parties, laptop computers, a raffle of lunch with the rapper Yung Joc, and assorted gift certificates (for FootLocker, etc) to those parents who oblige for one day by sending their kid to be counted. In fact, the DPS is now trying to delay the official “count” day so they have more time to illegitimately fill the classrooms so they can steal more money from us via the Feds.

One press conference the other day had a school official saying, “We are proud of where we have brought the Detroit public schools in terms of the quality of education that we offer to our students.” Er, last time I checked, the graduation rate at Detroit public schools is 21% — and no, that is not a typo. It is the lowest in the nation among the largest districts.

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