DETROIT (WJBK) - Children choosing between the swings and the slide will have a bigger choice this fall - where they go to school.
Right now Detroit Public School students or Detroit charter school pupils don't have a choice if they don't have transportation. Mayor Mike Duggan is talking only to FOX 2 about why that's a problem.
"Thirty thousand children got up every morning this year in the city of Detroit and went to school in the suburbs,” Duggan said. "That means even though you have roughly 100 DPS schools and roughly 100 charter schools, 30,000 sets of parents decided that none of those choices are good enough."
Starting this August, if parents in northwest Detroit don't think their schools are good enough, They'll have a choice.
The new pilot program called GOAL Line sends buses to the kids nearest school in their neighborhood and takes them to a school their parents would rather them go to.
"You might have a great school four miles from your house, but if you do not have a car, you're not going there," Duggan said. "And some of our competing school districts have been running buses all over the city to take our kids out."
A map shows the nine square miles where 10 schools are taking part in the program. Four charters and six DPS-opening their doors to kids who don't live nearby.
Part of the goal of the program is to also give kids a place to go after school. Buses can take them here to the Northwest Activities Center on Myers until their parents are ready to have them home.
"It's a great opportunity for families to not have to pay for quality afterschool programming," said JJ Velez. "And that's why we have it here at the northwest activity center."
"What if we had quality after school programs?" Duggan said. "If you don't get off work until 5 p.m. and your child's school lets out at three, you know your child will be in an afterschool situation that both secure and also helping with homework and the like."
The city is adding its weight behind this plan. If the schools do well, the population numbers in Detroit, will too - something Duggan is passionate about. If the child does well in school, the future can be bright for them without having to leave.
"They will have college tuition guaranteed through the Detroit Promise," Duggan said. "Two years of community college for everybody who graduates from a Detroit high school and four years for those above a 3.0 grade point average. So you know if your family and your children are in this neighborhood, your educational future is set."