Why the School-Choice Controversy in Detroit Is Forcing Parents to Make Sacrifices

Apr 12, 2016 by

In Detroit, some parents have to travel six hours and take up to eight buses each day to take their kids to better schools outside of their neighborhoods.

For thousands of Detroit families, the daily trek begins in darkness, before dawn.Myesha Williams, a mother of eight on Detroit’s west side, sets out at 7 a.m. to deliver her three school-aged sons to three different schools on opposite ends of the city—and she considers herself lucky. She has a car and a large family that can help share the driving.

Total daily journey: up to 93.5 miles, 3 hours.

Monique Johnson starts her trek even earlier, just after 6 a.m. when she and her son Shownn, a 13-year-old eighth-grader, catch a ride to a bus stop eight blocks from their home in the city’s Brightmoor neighborhood. There are closer stops, Johnson said, but they’re pitch black at that hour—and dangerous.

They wait for the bus in the glow of a nearby gas station, huddling together under blankets on frigid winter mornings. The No. 43 bus comes around 6:20 a.m., Johnson said.

Shownn is exhausted at that hour and sometimes sleeps on his mother’s shoulder during the 25- to 40-minute ride along Schoolcraft Road toward Woodward Avenue. The bus drops the pair in Highland Park, where they typically wait 20 minutes for their next bus while peering warily through the dim light cast by the Walgreens across the street.

Source: Why the School-Choice Controversy in Detroit Is Forcing Parents to Make Sacrifices – The Atlantic

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