Aft, Detroit Teachers: Republicans in Mich. House Jam through Anti-Union, Anti-Teacher Inadequate Aid Package
The right-wing Republicans ruling the Michigan House have jammed through an anti-union, anti-teacher inadequate aid package that would do little for Detroit’s schools and schoolchildren, the American Federation of Teachers and its Detroit local said.
The package, approved in the wee morning hours of May 5, was “twisted into a partisan screed against Detroit teachers and school employees,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten and Detroit interim President Ivy Bailey.
They urged teachers to lobby lawmakers to reject it in favor of a Senate-passed alternative plan, and – if that did not occur – for GOP Gov. Rick Snyder to veto it.
The financial ills of the Detroit district, including the prospect of looming payless paydays, forced the teachers into a 2-day sickout in early May. It was so successful that 94 of the district’s 97 schools closed.
The schools also suffer from deteriorating buildings, health hazards – including dead mice found in the middle of classroom floors – and lack of supplies. The teachers have not had a raise in years and have suffered pay cuts and other financial slashes.
The district, now run by a Snyder-appointed administrator, says it is broke and needs state aid. The GOP-run Senate approved a $715 million aid package; the GOP-run House did not. Its package is $75 million-$100 million yearly, spread out over five years.