Detroit mayor cites progress in school health, safety fixes

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DETROIT (AP) — Detroit school officials have spent $2.5 million on repairs and cite significant progress on building conditions a week before doors open for the new academic year, Mayor Mike Duggan said Monday.

Duggan had ordered inspections of roughly 100 Detroit Public Schools buildings after complaints about mice, mold and cold classrooms were made by teachers during sick-outs last winter. The mayor said that 86 schools are now "100 percent compliant with city building codes." He added that eight more schools need work but are expected to be in compliance this fall.

"I still have the picture of the dead mouse on my cellphone. It was a very troubling tour," Duggan told reporters at a news conference at Bates Academy with school district manager Steven Rhodes, interim Superintendent Alycia Meriweather and others. "None of that stuff is there anymore."

Duggan said no schools in the public district have elevated lead levels, as about 20 had when water was tested earlier this year. The city worked to flush pipes as well as remove water outlets with elevated levels.

Terrence Martin, executive vice president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, said at the news conference that teachers are "the heroes" for "standing up and really being outspoken."

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