According to several news outlets, state education officials have ordered emergency financial manager Robert Bobb to "balance the books" by closing approximately half of the schools in the Detroit Public School district. These closings will cause class sizes to be increased to feature approximately 60 students per class in high school, and other services will be consolidated in the budget cuts (i.e. Fine Arts programs, after school programs, etc). PLEASE--stop this systematic oppression of Detroit students! Students cannot possibly learn substantively and effectively with these large class sizes and inadequate services.
This policy is targeting the future of a city on the rise from despair, on the rise from poverty. We need to save the future of Detroit!!! Please sign this petition to show your support for Detroit students and the future of Detroit as a whole!
UPDATE (2/24/11)-- DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb is working on an alternative budget for DPS that does not require the district to increase high school class sizes to 60 students. Source The Detroit Free Press
- The Governor of MI
As individuals committed to the provision of quality and adequate education for all, the actions by Michigan education officials are appalling. We ask that officials find a productive, alternative way of "balancing the books" other than closing half the schools in the Detroit Public School district.
This policy is targeting the future of a city that is currently rising above debilitating social issues (economic conditions, community issues, corruption in government, etc). To enact this policy would be like a stake in the heart of Detroit's young students who WANT to learn to better themselves, their families, their communities, their city, and most of all, this nation and this world. Students, whether they are from Detroit, Southfield, Grosse Pointe, West Bloomfield, etc, should have the right to quality education! Speaking from personal experience, it is already extremely difficult as a young student to learn in a class of 30+ of your peers. Increasing class sizes to 60+ students would only increase the difficulties that both teachers face in engaging students, and students face in keeping afloat in an educational system already stacked against their favor.
Where are the budget cuts for other school districts in the Michigan area? Why is DPS (albeit a large school district) mainly targeted in Michigan state official's desire to "balance the books"? Put yourself in the position of a student in DPS, a teacher in DPS, an administrator, how can you effectively exist in the educational system with this policy? Schools should not be marginalized and used as ways to "balance the books".
We understand Michigan's (and Detroit, for that matter) hurting economic state. But to further downgrade the quality of Detroit Public Schools to this level honestly removes true education from existing in the district. So we ask again: please, stop the closing of half the schools in the Detroit Public School district. The future of Detroit is at stake.
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