In 2014, 482Forward members decided we were tired of schools opening and closing in our neighborhoods without any say from us. We started investigating who was making these decisions and found out there are 12 different groups in charge of opening and closing our schools. And, we found out that when they make their decisions, they don't talk to each other, they don't talk to city officials or city planners, and they don't talk to Detroiters.
So we launched a campaign to create greater accountability, equity, and smarter planning in our schools. It turned out we weren't the only ones noticing this problem - the American Federations of Teachers-Michigan, the NAACP Detroit Branch, MOSES, Excellent Schools Detroit, and the Skillman Foundation all agreed with us that something had to be done.
Together, we created the Coalition for the Future of Detroit Schoolchildren, over 100 community leaders who worked together to create legislative recommendations for how we should improve our chaotic and inequitable school structure in Detroit.
Dozens of 482Forward members sat on the Steering Committee and subcommittees of the Coalition and many more participated in the listening sessions that were held throughout the city.
Released on March 31, 2015, the recommendations include:
On June 8, the Legislature passed a package of bills that will:
Notably, the legislation did NOT create a Detroit Education Commission to oversee the openings and closings of schools.
"Education policy expert: proposed DPS legislation 'is really a step forward'" (3/22/16, Michigan Radio)