Official: Closing schools not the answer

More than 20 schools in the City of Detroit are at risk for closing due to low academic performances, but local leaders argue shutting down more schools is not the answer. 

No decision has been move yet, but one school board member tells FOX 2 that he and some of his colleagues may file an injunction to prevent schools in the City of Detroit from closing.

On a list released by the state, there 38 at-risk schools in Michigan. 26 in Detroit were in the bottom 5 percent for academic performance for three years in row.

Detroit School Board member Lamar Lemmons argues low performances are at least partly due to former control which includes lawmakers in Lansing.

"The state operated the district. These schools were failed by the state and now going to be removed from local control by the state's own failings. Two, we are a new entity and should not be held liable for the actions of the former corporation, especially if that corporation was operated by the state," said Lemmons.

Before closing a school, the state would have to ensure that any student displaced by closure would be able to enroll in a nearby school that has a better academic performance.

This is process that could take to up 45 days to complete.

Demonstrations have taken place this past week outside of public schools in Detroit to prevent anymore closures.

Several parties appear to be on the same page, both The Detroit Federation of Teachers President Ivy Bailey and Lamar Lemmons argue closing more schools will only make the problem worse.

For decades, schools in the City have been under resourced, some factors include large classroom sizes of more than 30 students, and outdated text books.

Ivy Bailey, said "some of our children have been in schools and every year they close, we can't continue that."

Also, the interim superintendent announced a learning summit scheduled for next week as representatives from out of state schools to help stop these closures.

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