Articles tagged with Detroit Public Schools

Detroit’s cost-cutting proposal, overly dramatic, logistically infeasible, intentionally thought-provoking

1194985021415637292axe_peterm__svg_medI’m not sure how to react to a Detroit Public School proposal to close nearly half of the city’s schools over the next two years—and boost class sizes to as high as 62.

On the face of it, the proposal is ludicrous. Not only will it not pass political muster, the logistical problems in finding classrooms big enough for 60+ students makes talk about the instructional issues rather pointless.

So it’s obvious this “the sky is falling” plan—proposed by Robert Bobb, the state-appointed emergency financial manager for DPS—is simply making a dramatic point about the school system’s dire financial situation.

I suppose that’s fair enough. Confronted with shrinking enrollment, a decline in property taxes and state aid, and a huge budget deficit, Bobb has no choice but to shutter dozens of schools, cut staff, and boost class sizes.

So he might as well shock folks with apocalyptic visions of the future—so everyone is so numb with shock that they accept more modest, yet still painful measures.

Of course, before that happens, Bobb will need to weather the inevitable firestorm of criticism. But I’m betting that’s part of his plan—let people vent before talking about less-traumatic change.

Naomi Dillon|January 13th, 2011|Categories: Governance, Budgeting, American School Board Journal|Tags: , , |
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