Get back to class, DPS teachers

May 4, 2016 by

Strikes have closed Detroit Public Schools for two days; students shouldn’t be pawns in push for Lansing bailout

Teachers who have closed nearly all Detroit Public Schools on Monday and Tuesday may believe they are on a worthy crusade. But the districtwide illegal strikes have harmed the 46,000 students who attend DPS. Detroit teachers need to stay in class.

The strikes come at a strategic moment in the discussions in Lansing over how to send a $700 million funding package to the district. Teachers are hoping their rebellion will force reluctant lawmakers to action, but it may have the opposite effect.

DPS Emergency Manager Steven Rhodes sparked the strikes — referred to as “sickouts” because teachers called in sick — over the weekend when he informed the Detroit Federation of Teachers that paychecks would end as of June 30 when the district runs out of money. That struck fear in the hearts of many teachers, as a significant number select to receive their checks year-round.

No one should have to work without getting paid, but shutting out students who desperately need to be in school isn’t the way for teachers to make their case. DPS remains the worst urban district in the country, and missed instruction time won’t raise test scores.

Source: Editorial: Get back to class, DPS teachers

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