Fight Back Unjust School Closures
Why were schools slated to close?
In 2016, the Michigan Legislature passed Public Act 192. PA 192 said that any school in Detroit that is in the bottom 5% of Michigan schools for three years in a row must be closed by the School Reform Office (SRO).
The 13 schools on the list that are not in Detroit are actually subject to a separate law (MCL 380.1280c). That law lists closure as a possible consequence for schools that are in the bottom 5% for three years in a row, but it also offers other options, including the imposition of a CEO, transformation, turnaround, and restart.
What schools were slated to close?
In 2017, 38 schools across Michigan were identified as possibly facing closure. 25 were in Detroit: 16 DPSCD schools, 8 EAA schools, and 1 charter.
Detroit Public Schools Community District
What did we do?
482Forward, along with organizations across the state, sprang into action. We led press conferences, neighborhood town halls, rallies, lobby days, and legislative phone banks throughout the year. We delivered over 2,000 petition signatures to state legislators. Groups in affected communities across the state like Ezekiel in Saginaw and the Pontiac Public Policy Council did similar actions. A number of school districts also filed lawsuits against the state.
Governor Snyder returned the State School Reform Office back under the authority of the Department of Education (MDE), and MDE chose to sign "partnership agreements" with the affected school districts rather than closing their schools.
In 2017, Detroit Public School Community District added another 26 schools to the original 24. You can read the DPSCD partnership agreement here.