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Detroit parents and students ask to be involved school closure decision

Feb 20, 2017

Detroit parents and students want the state to hear from them before closing their schools.

Twenty-five public schools in Detroit could be shut down for having poor test scores.

The state School Reform Office, which released the list of schools that might close, has yet to meet with parents or students from these schools.

Terry Whitfield is with 482 Forward, a citywide network of community organizations, schools groups and church groups.

He says the state needs input from the people most affected by the possible school closings.

“For us it's really about advocating for the community, for students and parents to be included in that reformation process so that the commitment from the community can be there,” Whitfield said.

Over 100 Detroit schools have closed since 2005.

Michele Phillips, a parent of three Detroit public school students, is worried her kids would have to travel long distances to get to a new school.

“Where do we go? Where can they go? My whole community of schools, of the high schools, it's not going to be none there at all,” Phillips said.

Phillips said one alternative she was told about for her kids was a school in Ann Arbor, more than 40 minutes from where she lives.

“That’s fine for the parents with transportation and money and such, but what about the rest of us with no transportation and less money,” Phillips said.

The state should make its decision about whether to close the schools by early next month.