Detroit schools to get $1 billion in federal aid to bring students back in-person safely

A coalition of Detroit Public School Community District top brass and city clergy leaders gathered to talk about bringing students back in the classroom and the impact of federal assistance money.

The district will use more than a billion in federal dollars to ensure a safe return in the 2021-- 2022 school year while offering $500 to DPSCD employees who take the vaccine.

"This is the first time the federal government has given us the resources in an equitable way to get our children to the other side of the pandemic," DPSCD Supt. Dr. Nikolai Vitti said. "This will allow us to fully fund testing on a weekly basis with Covid, PPE, it is going to allow us to put a nurse in every one of our buildings, we are going to expand mental health services for all students.

"We are providing all of our employees $500 incentive to take the vaccine."

"We want educators and the school community to be safe and protected against COVID-19 and that means getting vaccinated," said Terrance Martin, president, Detroit Federation of Teachers.

One parent who spoke at the forum believes the best place for students to learn, is in person.

"My daughter is in school where she's supposed to be," Shereen Martin said. "Children deserve best. We can do this and do it together because children do matter."

Religious and educational leaders admit the key to successful face-to-face learning is the vaccine.

DPSCD Supt. Nikolai Vitti.

"I was one who was skeptical about even taking the vaccine," Vitti said. "I decided to take the vaccine because I thought it was important for public health and education."