Five years and three emergency managers later, Detroit Public Schools is still in debt. Its deficit is growing again and academics have improved only marginally. It’s time to pause and consider where to go from here. The futures of nearly 50,000 students depend on it.
As Detroit works to rebuild and emerge a stronger city after bankruptcy, a viable school system is an integral piece. Education is the best way for children to climb the ladder from poverty into a better life. And city schools must be good enough to encourage middle class families to live in Detroit.
That kind of district doesn’t exist yet.
Gov. Rick Snyder, and Gov. Jennifer Granholm before him, has tried to improve DPS through the work of state-appointed emergency managers. Realistically, it’s the best that could be done given their legal tools. Sara Wurfel, spokeswoman for Snyder, says the administration doesn’t think DPS is anywhere close to being fixed. But she says there has been “notable and noticeable” progress financially and academically.