Detroit will be closing 45 schools to save $31M and to restructure the Detroit School System:
DETROIT, Mich. — A $1 billion plan from Detroit Public Schools’ emergency financial manager calls for closing 44 schools plus one administration building. Forty-four buildings will be closed by summer, and another 13 by 2012, including two of the city’s oldest traditional high schools. Robert Bobb will release a formal list and more specific closing dates during an 11:15 a.m. news conference Wednesday.
Bobb’s five-year master facilities plan will be put into place between 2010-2015. Some buildings will be renovated and some will be consolidated into smaller and newer buildings as the district prepares for a projected enrollment drop of about 30,000 students.Osborn, Kettering and Northwestern, along with the massive 83-year-old Cooley, Communication & Media Arts and 95-year-old Southwestern high schools eventually, would close for good.”This program is neighborhood focused to support all of Detroit neighborhoods with quality schools,” Bobb told reporters Tuesday. “Most importantly, it’s taking into consideration where the city is going.”District data released Tuesday showed full-time, pre-kindergarten through 12th grade enrollment has decreased from about 164,500 in 2002-03 to 87,700 for the current school year. Enrollment is projected to dip to 56,500 in 2014-15.
Kindergarten enrollment declined from 16,000 in 1994 to just more than 6,000 last year. About 22,250 students currently are in high school. That number is projected to dip to 11,460 within five years.”The children are already gone,” said Shannon Bingham, a demographer contracted by the district. “Where are they going? It’s job losses. Families are relocating to other parts of the state, other parts of the country where they can make a better living. Birth rates are declining. The starting point for us is getting smaller every year.”The city’s population also continues to drop with each U.S. Census and likely will dip far below 900,000 after the 2010 count.