Top adviser assures parents state won't close all 38 at-risk schools

The state is set to shut down 38 underperforming schools at the end of the school year. Many of those schools are in Detroit.

During an education town hall meeting Monday night, though, a top aide for Gov. Snyder told the crowd there's no way they state would close that many schools at once. The advisor also went on to say that the school reform office acted independently when letters were sent out regarding possible school closures.

The schools that are slated to close have ranked in the bottom 5 percent for the past three years in a row. Twenty six of the schools are in Detroit, and others are in Benton Harbor, Bridgeport, East Detroit, Kalamazoo, Pontiac, River Rouge and Saginaw.

"The City Council does not really play a role when it comes to the school in that you have an elected school board, but I think there needs to be a conversation because as you look as closing schools, what you're looking at is having empty school buildings - and we don't need any empty buildings," said Detroit City Council President Brenda Jones.

Parents are also concerned about transportation if their school closes.

"There are high-performing schools that will not accept our kids in the same area," says Lamar Lemmons III, Detroit School Board President. "So, kids at Denby High School, the closest school district would be Harper Woods and the Grosse Pointe schools."

Parents are asking for a study to determine the effect a school closing would have on their kids and on their neighborhoods. 

Right now, the School Reform Office is in the middle of a 45-day reassessment period. A final determination on which schools will close is expected by early March.