Detroit Public Schools are losing students to charter, suburban and private schools, forcing schools to close and programs like art and music to be cut. But the district spent at least $1.6 million on professional art, all of it going to a gallery owner who takes a 20 to 50 percent commission. The Detroit Free Press has a photo of an uninspiring work.
At Cass Tech High School, for example, artist Nora Chapa Mendoza was commissioned to create work showing the school’s legacy of excellence. One piece depicts past principals.
The district isn’t sure how much it spent out of a $1.5 billion bond designed to refurbish schools or how much art was purchased. Teachers and parents say fixing leaky roofs should come first.