Detroit Closing Down 16 Schools

February 8, 2012 Updated: February 8, 2012

Detroit is slated to close down 16 public schools permanently by the end of the year and will have to convert another four into charter schools by this fall.

Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Roy Roberts said that the schools are being closed because they are underused and children attending those schools will be merged into other schools.

“We have been using an outdated educational model that we must discard,” he said in a statement on Wednesday.

Detroit’s school system “must embark on a bold and ambitious journey that I believe will return this city to its rightful place as the world class leader in public education, a position it once held,” he added.

The closings will save the school district around $7.5 million in operating costs each year, according to Roberts.

Detroit has seats for around 110,000 students but only serves around 70,000 after preschool students are included. “The vacant seats, taken together, represent what would be equivalent to the second largest school district in the state,” the statement said.