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Detroit School For Pregnant Teens To Remain Open

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Graduation 2011 at Catherine Ferguson Academy for Women. (WWJ Pat Sweeting)

Graduation 2011 at Catherine Ferguson Academy for Women. (WWJ Pat Sweeting)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – An educational academy will take over operations of a Detroit school specifically designed for pregnant teens and teen moms, one of only three such schools in the nation.

For some time, the belief has been that, despite student’s protests and calls and letters from legislators and groups like the NAACP, Catherine Ferguson Academy For Young Women would close. Its $2.8 million annual budget was just too much for the Detroit Public Schools to bear.

But a crowd that showed up for Thursday’s rally to keep the school open got a pleasant surprise, when school principal Asenath Andrews announced, “During this whole thing, I didn’t know if there were enough people who cared about my girls to make sure that we could stay open, and I so appreciate your coming, thank you so much. We will have a school in the fall.”

The district announced Thursday that the Blanche Kelso Bruce Academy will continue programs for students at the Ferguson Academy for the fall semester.

“I am overwhelmed with relief that I didn’t have to start all over. I didn’t know that I had another start-all-over in me, so this is good news for all of those young women who left us, and those who will come to us in the future,” Andrews said.

The district’s website reports about 300 students attending Ferguson this year. Blanche Kelso Bruce will keep some of Ferguson’s senior leadership and core staff during the transition.

Blanche Kelso Bruce also will operate two of Detroit’s strict discipline academies. It has run alternative education programs in the city for more than 10 years.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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