Much attention is given to the financial and academic plight of Detroit Public Schools. The governor, mayor and other city leaders all have big ideas about how to address these problems.

The district is quickly going broke. And test results released Wednesday by the National Assessment of Educational Progress showed that Detroit students scored the lowest in math and reading among 21 U.S. urban districts—for the fourth time in a row.

And while those are worthy concerns, they don’t touch on some of the other very real issues facing Detroit students.

Case in point: The Detroit News recently reported how a 17-year-old girl was raped earlier this month while waiting for a bus to take her to school. While she struggled with her attacker, several motorists drove by, yet no one stopped to help.

Students shouldn’t have to be in danger just trying to get to school. Yet many are. That, along with too little parental oversight, plays into why roughly 67 percent of students enrolled in DPS are chronically absent.

Mayor Mike Duggan and Gov. Rick Snyder must consider these problems, too. Because if kids aren’t even getting to school, the best reforms won’t make a difference.

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