State Superintendent Calls for Immediate Action On Health and Safety Issues at DPS

Contact: Martin Ackley, Director of Public and Governmental Affairs 517-241-4395
Agency: Education

January 11, 2016

LANSING – State Superintendent Brian Whiston is calling Detroit Public Schools Emergency Manager Darnell Earley today to set up a meeting with district officials, and all appropriate state and local agencies, to respond to health and safety issues at Detroit school buildings.

“I care deeply about the safety and well-being of teachers in Detroit, just as I do the students,” Whiston said today. “They all still need to be in the classrooms teaching and learning, though.  If buildings have health and safety issues, they need to be addressed immediately with the district administration and all appropriate agencies.”

Whiston is moving quickly in response to actions by DPS teachers not reporting to work today, shutting down some 60 buildings.  A press conference and rally today by the teachers and members of the community have brought attention to reported health and safety hazards in the schools.

“Teachers need to be teaching, and the children need to be learning,” Whiston said, “and any issues regarding unsafe and unhealthy conditions in the buildings need to be addressed quickly.  Students need to be in school to learn and, in many cases, get their only nutritious meals of the day.”

Whiston will continue to work with the Governor, state Legislature, and key stakeholders to come to a permanent, long-term solution on the financial, academic, and structural future of the education system in the City of Detroit.