Principal: Detroit’s shutting down Catherine Ferguson Academy



Catherine Ferguson Academy, the school for pregnant girls and young mothers in Detroit, is being closed, says its principal, Asenath Andrews. You might remember that we covered the sit-in at Catherine Ferguson Academy this spring, when a dozen students and a teacher were hauled out and arrested in a cacophony of police sirens.

Their school had been put on the Detroit Public Schools’ list of possible closures by the state-appointed Emergency Financial Manager. Under Michigan’s new emergency manager law, Robert Bobb had the power to do with each school what he wanted. A new emergency manager, Roy Roberts, took over last month. On May 26, he posted a new plan for closing schools, one described as created after “broad community input, including more than 40 community meetings.” This new plan suggested that Catherine Ferguson Academy might be sticking around in some form.

Apparently, that was not to be. Principal Andrews, who’s been there 20 years, said she went to a meeting yesterday for schools that are closing, and the list includes hers. “On Friday, June 17th, I turn in my keys,” she just told us. “It’s the end of my life’s work and the end of the school.” She says they told her the school was too expensive and that the student population was declining.

Ms. Andrews doesn’t know what happens to the school building or to its extensive gardens and its animals. As for the girls, she said the school district says they can go to their local schools. “It’s like, what happens to my girls?” she said. “You think they take two buses over here because they don’t have a neighborhood school?”

We’ve got a call into Detroit Public Schools. We’ll let you know more as we find out.