The most pressing issues in the Detroit school board race

A virtual school board candidate forum will be held Thursday by WDET and Chalkbeat Detroit.

There are 18 candidates but only four seats available on the Detroit Public Schools Community District board.

Like all communities since the pandemic hit, the Detroit public school district has faced problems. Things like chronic absenteeism, mental health challenges and learning loss have all impacted Detroit schools.

Whoever makes up the seven-member board will have the power to approve contracts and vote on policies that attempt to resolve these issues.

Reporters Ethan Bakuli and Sascha Raiyn will be co-hosting a virtual candidate forum where voters will be able to hear directly from the school board candidates tomorrow at 5:30 p.m. You can find more information about the event at this link.

“There were really passionate debates about whether the district should be open at certain points or completely shutdown.” — Sascha Raiyn, WDET Reporter

Listen: How Detroit public schools have changed and what changes people want to make.



Ethan Bakuli is a Detroit education reporter at Chalkbeat Detroit. He says that as the pandemic grew, many students have left the school district.

“There have been roughly 3,000 students that have left the district since 2020,” says Bakuli.

Sascha Raiyn is a producer and reporter for WDET, covering a range of issues, including education and labor. She says the controversies in Detroit public schools often look a bit different than controversies in the surrounding suburbs.

“There were really passionate debates about whether the district should be open at certain points or completely shutdown and what kinds of protections should be in place. And most of those (debates) are pretty muted right now,” says Raiyn.

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