My heart sank last night as the evening news announced that Detroit Public Schools would be closed today due to a teacher “sick” out. As the school year nears its close, students need to be in school to reflect on their year of learning. Teachers are upset due to unkept promises from the district. The eighth emergency financial manage since 2009 announced on Friday that the district would not be able to pay teachers after June 30, 2016. It also means that summer school will not be offered for DPS students and summer special education services will be canceled.
This is the second time, DPS is faced with sick outs. Rick Rhodes, DPS emergency manager, does not see this action as a solution as the district waits for the State House of Representatives to act on a Senate bill to provide the needed funds for DPS. Legislators view this as adults acting on their needs not the students. Well, they are wrong.
DPS has been in dire need to be fixed for years. The state has been in control of the district since 2009. When will the Lansing act to really solve the problems? The teachers actions are finally giving the issues some urgency in Lansing. The Senate passed a $715 million solution in March, now in MAY, the house has not acted! But the teachers are to blame?
DPS teachers actions are shining a light on the issue. If they did not take action, Lansing would continue to kick the can down the road. Teachers are upset about the possibility of not getting paid over the summer for work they completed during the school year. They are also speaking out on behalf of the 46,000 students in DPS that are losing summer school opportunities and special education services in June. Without teacher actions, Lansing seems to fail to act.
STOP blaming teachers for legislative inaction. Lansing needs to hear the teachers and take action. Our legislative body needs to stop kicking around education as a political football and take action! I challenge them ALL to work a day in Detroit to see the conditions, then listen to teachers for solutions. Schools need the best and brightest working with the students in most need. Do these conditions attract the best and brightest?
It is teacher appreciation week, show appreciation by listening to them and giving them respect!