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Detroit Schools, City Government Set Timeline to Repair Ragged Buildings

The Detroit schools and city government officials have agreed on a timeline for fixing safety and health violations in the district's school buildings, with the district getting extra time to finish repairs at some buildings.

After Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan spotted a rodent during a school visit, building checks were conducted in the schools believed to be most problematic. The inspections, which will include all charter schools within the city's borders, are set to be completed by the end of April.

The agreement covers the first schools inspected by the city that require repairs. Additional schools will be added as inspections progress.

City officials began inspecting all of Detroit's schools in January after protests by teachers and parents about problems including rodents, water leaks, mold, broken glass, and busted heating systems. A Detroit schools spokeswoman told the Detroit News that the district has "been working diligently to remedy the violations cited in the city inspection reports as well as the issues submitted by schools into the district's online work order system."

The Detroit Federation of Teachers, along with the American Federation of Teachers, sued the Detroit school system last month over building conditions, asking for the removal of district emergency manager Darnell Earley. Education Week blogger Sarah Tully wrote this month about Detroit parents joining the lawsuit.

Earlier this month, the Detroit schools announced it had redirected $300,000 in its budget to address critical needs outlined in the reports, but Earley estimates the district will need $50 million to repair all its buildings.

Facing withering criticism, Earley will step down at the end of the month, ending his time as district leader several months before his tenure was set to expire. Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder has not yet named Earley's successor.

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