Week 5: DPS deficit skyrockets! – Detroit Community-Engaged Research Program

Week 5: DPS deficit skyrockets!


After reading this article, my confidence is somewhat deflated about the future of Detroit. Everywhere I look there are new construction sites, businesses, and busy bodies! Many positive and wonderful places to visit. However, the public school system in Detroit is failing slowly, but surely.The Detroit Public Schools (DPS) system is accumulating further debt with no end in site! According to Detroit Free Press, “More than six years after falling under state-controlled leadership, Detroit Public Schools’ finances continue to worsen, with officials projecting an accumulated deficit that could top $335 million by this time next year.” How is that possible? What exactly has been done to rectify this crisis? Nothing, apparently. Another question: If the school system fails to the point where public schools close down and students are displaced, what happens to them and their future?

City officials promised this would not happen, though. According to Detroit Free Press, “Officials say they don’t expect class sizes to change or any school buildings to close.” Key word: expect. Just like they did not expect the deficit to be what it is today, right? So, how does one fix this situation? How do we close the deficit within a reasonable range? Cut-backs! That’s right, more cut-backs on a school system that has been crippled by lack of funding. Less jobs for teachers and other academic faculty. Even worse, less attention to students who need assistance with their studies! Obviously, this ‘solution’ does not benefit all parties involved. Darnell Earley, a state-appointed emergency leader, stated, “too few students are performing on grade-level; schools struggle to obtain the resources they need to improve instruction; and central office functions are inefficient and uncoordinated.” That just sounds like a ‘hot mess!’ I do not pretend to know the answers, but is there not a better way to balance this deficit?

1 thought on “Week 5: DPS deficit skyrockets!”

  1. The school system in Detroit is really frustrating. Good schooling has such fundamental importance to a society, it’s horrible that it’s often pushed to the side and not seen as a priority. When Mayor Duggan came to the Green Garage, schools were a hot topic of the discussion. The Mayor was very honest, saying, pretty much, that he had more pressing things to deal with and that schools just weren’t a realistic issue to tackle right now. While I appreciated his honesty, the reality of the statement was terribly depressing.

    The kids in these schools aren’t oblivious. They’re bright kids in poor situations. They realize their schools are horrible and that providing them with resources isn’t a priority, which does terrible things for their outlook on life and on themselves. It sets them up for a life where they assume others expect them to fail, and they likely expect themselves to fail as well. It sets the kids up for the school to prison pipeline Laura wrote about this week.

    Detroit’s failing school system is also going to prove itself to be a challenge for all of the young people who are flocking to the city right now. Eventually, many of them will probably have children of their own, and their loyalty to the city will be tested when they have to decide if they want to send their kids to school here.

Comments are closed.

lsa logoum logo