9 districts sign deals to avoid state closing 37 schools

LANSING, Mich. (AP) – Nine school districts in Michigan have signed deals to delay potential state-ordered closures of 37 of their chronically low-performing schools.

The state Education Department made the announcement Wednesday, after Pontiac became the final district to agree to a “partnership” agreement this week. Others with deals include Detroit, Benton Harbor, Saginaw, River Rouge, Bridgeport-Spaulding, East Detroit, Muskegon Heights and Kalamazoo.

State Superintendent Brian Whiston says the districts “are in control of their future.” Each agreement includes 18- and 36-month accountability timelines when the schools will be evaluated.

Another state office had threatened to close 38 schools this summer that have ranked in the bottom 5 percent for at least three straight years.

Twenty-five are in Detroit, including one charter school whose authorizer is in the process of closing it.

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