DETROIT (WWJ) – It took all night, but crews were able to repair a main cable that supplies power to more than two dozen public schools in Detroit.
Nearly all Detroit Public and Education Achievement Authority schools will be open on Wednesday after falling off the power grid a day earlier. Officials say the timing couldn’t have been better, as Wednesday is a winter Count Day — which is tied to state funding.
Only six schools remain closed: Greenfield Union, Dixon, Cody, Mann, Carver, and Palmer Park.
On Tuesday, four Detroit Public Lighting substations went down, knocking out power to nearly 30 schools. Officials say the power has gone out on DPS schools over 150 times this year alone. The outages resulted in schools being shut down three times more often than last year, when only 39 days were missed.
Beau Taylor, interim director of the Detroit Public Lighting Department, said the infrastructure’s age is part of the problem.
“Well, some of our cables are upwards of 60- to 70-years old,” he said. “There is no human error involved, it’s just the age and degradation of the system.”
Taylor said it’s not like they can just rebuild the entire system, so they’ve been working with Detroit Edison to develop a long-term solution.
Michigan has two count days a year — in the fall and winter. The fall Count Day represents 90 percent of a school’s per-pupil funding, while the winter Count Day accounts for 10 percent of funding. The minimum funding is about $7,000 in state aid per-pupil.
Steve Wasko, DPS Spokesperson, said the district has petitioned the state to set an alternate Count Day for the schools that are closed due to the power outage problems.