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District For Struggling Schools Loses Students

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DETROIT (WWJ/AP) - The state’s Education Achievement Authority, which currently operates low-performing schools in Detroit, has lost nearly a quarter of its students in the past year.

The statewide district formed in 2011 to take over failing schools enrolled 7,589 students this fall in K-12 at its 15 schools, down nearly 24 percent from last fall when it had 9,958 students across 12 direct-run schools and three charter schools, according to a report by The Detroit News.

The biggest decline came at the district’s 12 direct-run schools, where 2,103 students left. At the charter schools, 266 fewer students enrolled.

The state gives the EAA $7,246 for each student, which means the district is expected to get about $17 million less in state aid than it did a year ago, according to the newspaper.

EAA spokesman Terry Abbott said the district received an extension to report fall enrollment, so the numbers aren’t official.

“Our enrollment has increased by about 200 students since October and we expect that enrollment will continue to rise throughout the year,” he told the newspaper.

Democratic lawmakers have heavily criticized the EAA, which has yet to grow beyond the buildings it took over from Detroit Public Schools.

Craig Ruff, a special adviser to Gov. Rick Snyder for education, said “the proof is in performance, not just sheer number of students.”

“Are there still problems? Yeah,” he told the newspaper. “They have been in business one school year. It’s very difficult to turn around buildings where you have had really persistent failure for a long, long time.”

TM and © Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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