Why Aren’t Detroit Kids Showing Up For School?

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Public School’s Emergency Manager Roy Roberts met student leaders Friday to get some insight into the district’s attendance problem.

About 100 student leaders from across the district got a chance to meet Roberts and share their perspective on what’s really happening in Detroit Public Schools.

The first to speak was Team Leadership Institute President James Murray who said students want DPS to deliver on its promises.

“I’m here for my fellow students (to say) that we need our supplies on time. We need to netbooks they promised. We need the materials that they said they were going to promise and that they were going to give us so that we can back our end of the deal,” said Murray.

Lack of money for school uniforms was also given as a reason kids weren’t going to school.

Roberts said this can be fixed.

“First of all, you’ve gotta know that it’s a problem,” said Roberts. “I know a group of us just bought shirts for kids in a school that decided they were going to wear uniforms, our of our pockets.”

“By the way, a lot of people … teachers are doing that. So, if that’s one of the major problems we’ll find a way to deal with that issue.

Other reasons given included not enough money for bus fare and a simple lack of motivation.

DPS has 79,000 students on its enrollment list but only 65 percent of the students showed up this week. District officials said that was still a 20 percent better turnout than on the first day last year.

Roberts called it, “a good start.” He said attendance officers will be knocking on doors and asking questions. (More on this story, here).

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