Friday, April 4, 2008

Vacant Detroit schools vandalized

Most of the schools that DPS shuttered last year have been secured. Those that have not, the Free Press reports, have been stripped of valuables and vandalized. The story is accompanied by a stunning photo gallery of the damage done to Joy Middle School in just the past ten months. Sadly, the more damage done to any of these schools, the less likely they are to ever be redeveloped.


Ellen said...

Oh wow, that is really intense.
I don't know much about DPS, but I'm assuming they closed that many schools because of fewer student enrollment. Is that correct, or was it lack of funding?

Cooper said...

Both. Enrollment is declining, and every time the district loses a student, it also loses funding because the state distributes funds on a per-pupil basis. But the fundamental problem seems to be declining enrollment.

Right now the district has 105,000 students. If it falls below the 100,000 mark, the cap on charter schools will be lifted, after which enrollment will likely fall even faster. My guess is that the district will be below that threshold next year. And who knows what'll become of DPS then.