DPS Chief: Class sizes won’t reach 61 students

Detroit Public Schools won’t come anywhere close to the reported class sizes of 61 students, DPS Emergency Manager Roy Roberts assured City Council this morning.

Roberts also said the long-struggling district should be deficit-free by 2016.

Roberts dismissed fears that classes would bulge to 60 or more students, saying he has a plan to limit class sizes.

“I’m not running for office; I’m not looking for a promotion,” Roberts told council.

What about the dozens of abandoned schools rotting across the city?

At a price tag between $600,000 to $1 million to demolish a school, Roberts said it’s difficult to justify the cost.

“If you have schools that are vacant, and you are going to spend money on that, you aren’t going to be able to spend money on educating kids,” Roberts said. “That’s the paradox.”

The beautiful Paul Robeson High School, which was heavily damaged in a fire last year, is to be demolished by October, Roberts said.

The cost to rebuild the school would be $68 million, compared to $35 million to build a new school, Roberts said.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.