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DPS: More Students Showing Up To School

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Outside a Detroit school (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

Outside a Detroit school (WWJ Photo/Vickie Thomas, File)

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DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit Public School officials say after a disappointing head-count throughout the first week of school, more students attended the second week of classes.

DPS has 79,000 students on its enrollment list but only 65 percent of the students showed up during the first week.

The state’s largest district said as of Thursday, Sept. 15, teachers took attendance for 59,286 students, up from 15,000 students on the first day of school, Sept. 6.

DPS said the increase in attendance means they’ve reached 90 percent of the projected number of 65,834 students in the 2011-12 budget. A total of 66,040 students have attended class through the first eight days of school, one key indicator of the possible total number of students to be counted this year.

Officials also said attendance this year has continued to surpass 2010 totals each school day.

DPS said they will begin to focus ongoing attendance initiatives on those students who have attended some portion but not all of the total number of school days this fall.

DPS lost $3.5 million in state aid for attendance that was recorded as being below the required 75 percent for the first nine days, instead producing rates as low as 51 percent. Last year, 23 schools in the district did not meet their goals for adequate yearly progress in the area of attendance alone. About $25 million was lost over the full school year, officials said.

Detroit’s district faces a $327 million budget deficit, partly due to faltering enrollment, fewer per-pupil dollars and failing to make timely cost-cutting as times got leaner. The district ended the past school year with about 74,000 students.

Last week, DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts met student leaders to get some insight into the district’s attendance problem. (Read more)

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