DETROIT (WWJ) – School bells will soon be ringing, calling back students from their summer vacation.

That means members of the Detroit Public Schools, including DPS Emergency Financial Manager Roy Roberts, are trying to move heaven and earth to make sure students fill the seats in the schools of Detroit.

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Roberts told the congregation at Oak Grove AME Church that the key to turning Detroit around  is fixing the educational system and that churches need to be a part of that change.

The message, said Roberts, is that kids need to be in school, “first day, every day, all day.”

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“Last year, kids didn’t get to school on time  … and the state threatened to charge us 25 million dollars,” Roberts told WWJ’s Terri Lee. “We can’t throw away 25 million … we can not throw away kids not getting a quality education. The black people in this nation … people in this nation – the church has been a leader for us.”

“The school system can’t get this done by themselves, we need the church and all of you so bad that it’s unreal,” said Roberts.

He says he’s going to make sure that everybody in the school system is focused on doing a first-rate job, every day, and that when he leaves DPS, another emergency manager, will not be replacing him.

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“We’re going to get this done so when I leave here we will not have another emergency manager, we’ll have a superintendent of schools … we’re going to make sure of that.”