NCOE members are among the founders and most active members of this organization, which emerged in response to the takeover of the Detroit public schools by State appointed emergency managers. Under emergency management, over 100 Detroit schools were closed, with the remaining operating schools destabilized in terms of competent administration, school culture and physical facilities. The system was failing to offer Detroit children even a mediocre education, with schools simply warehousing students for several hours a day. DIFS established Saturday freedom schools to respond to this crisis, organized forums to educate the community, and mobilized with other organizations to resist further school closings.
Most recently DIFS has been engaged in projects to support children and their parents as they cope with the distance/digital learning difficulties imposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.