Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs - Yahoo News

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs - Yahoo News:

Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs

DETROIT (AP) — Detroit Public Schools teachers have complained for several years about poor pay, overcrowded classrooms, a lack of supplies, unsafe building conditions and uncertainty about their futures as the district struggles under a mountain of debt. Rolling teacher sick-outs have — so far in January — forced the district to close dozens of schools on some days. A preliminary hearing will be held next month on the district's lawsuit seeking to end the sick-outs.
Questions and answers about how the district got to this point:
JUST HOW BAD ARE DETROIT SCHOOLS' FINANCES?
An audit filed Nov. 2 with the state put Detroit Schools' annual budget deficit at $46.5 million. Gov. Rick Snyder has said that the district's debt will reach about $515 million by this summer.
District revenues are tied to per-pupil funding from the state, and Detroit receives about $7,400 for each student. The problem is that the district's enrollment has decreased by more than 100,000 over the past dozen years.
In 2003-2004, the Detroit Public Schools had 150,415 students. Enrollment now stands at about 46,000. The drop reflects the city's population loss — more than 950,000 people lived in Detroit in 2000, compared to the current population of about 690,000.
Competition from charter schools inside Detroit and from neighboring districts also has cut into Detroit Public Schools' enrollment numbers.
Detroit's schools have been under state oversight since 2009. Darnell Earley is the district's fourth emergency manager over that time. His predecessors have closed aging buildings and academically underperforming schools, but many others are in poor physical condition and the school district is too short of money for major fixes.
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HOW MANY TEACHERS ARE IN THE DISTRICT?
Detroit Public Schools has about 2,500 teachers, according to the emergency manager's office. The Detroit Federation of Teachers represents about 3,700 teachers, counselors and other staff.
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WHAT ARE THE TEACHERS' PRIMARY COMPLAINTS?
Some activists say Detroit teachers earn less than their counterparts in other areas of Michigan and work in more difficult conditions. Former Detroit teachers' union president Steve Conn said Q&A: A look at the Detroit Public Schools teacher sick-outs - Yahoo News:


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