Detroit schools so understaffed that an 8th grader had to teach math class for a month

Detroit schools so understaffed that an 8th grader had to teach math class for a month
Image: Shutterstock

A lawsuit filed in federal court Tuesday against Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder and other state education officials paints an abysmal picture of schooling within the Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD), the state’s largest public-school district that serves nearly 50,000 students.

Filed on behalf of seven black and Latino students who attend five of the lowest performing schools in Detroit, the suit describes “slum-like conditions” at the schools, “lacking the most basic educational opportunities.” They also serve more than 97% low-income students of color.

Because of these conditions, the suit argues, students remain “separate and unequal” and can’t attain “the level of literacy necessary to function,” in addition to proficiency in other subjects. As such, the suit alleges the district violates their due process and equal protection under the 14th Amendment.

“For years, classrooms and campuses have been unable to satisfy minimal state health and safety standards, let alone deliver basic education,” the suit reads.

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