With the summer break ending, school districts all across the country are humming with activity, preparing for a new school year. Not so in Detroit, where the state’s largest school district, still under state-imposed emergency management, remains mired in a series of overlapping crises—fiscal, political, administrative and pedagogical—that appear certain to doom any hopes for a productive new year.
Elena Herrada, an elected member of the “old” school board whose authority over local education was overridden by the state, explains the dire situation with education in her home town.
Detroit is in its third year of servicing a $20-billion debt under the strict terms imposed by a federal court. Those terms have caused an evisceration of budgets for essential services and practically a bargain-basement giveaway of its land and municipal assets to the politically well-connected.
In a related report, Abayomi Azikiwe, editor in chief of Pan-African News Wire and a Detroit organizer for the Workers World Party, provides updates on foreclosures and water shutoffs by the city and its “re-imagining” of Detroit to attract a “different” population.