Nearly 100 schools closed Monday after DFT sick-outs

- The Detroit Federation of Teachers is calling for a sick-out on Monday, after receiving word that Detroit Public Schools can’t guarantee it will pay teachers through the summer.

At about 7 a.m. Monday, the district announced these schools are closed Monday:

1. A.L. Holmes
2. Academy of Americas
3. Ann Arbor Trail
4. Bagley
5. Bates
6. Ben Carson
7. Bennett
8. Blackwell
9. Bow
10. Breithaupt
11. Brewer
12. Bunche
13. Burton International
14. Carleton
15. Carstens
16. Carver
17. Cass Technical High School
18. Charles Drew Transition Center
19. Charles Wright Academy
20. Chrysler
21. Clark
22. Clippert
23. Cody APL
24. Cody DIT
25. Cody: MCH
26. Coleman Young
27. Communication Media Arts 
28. Cooke
29. Crockett CTC
30. Davis Aersospace
31. Davison
32. Detroit College Prep
33. Detroit International Academy
34. Detroit Lions Academy
35. Detroit School of Arts
36. Dixon
37. Dossin
38. Douglass Academy
39. Duke Ellington
40. Durfee
41. Earhart
42. East English Village
43. Edison
44. Emerson
45. Fisher Lower
46. Fisher Upper
47. Fleming
48. FLICS
49. Gardner
50. Golightly
51. Golightly CTC
52. Gompers
53. Greenfield Union
54. Harms
55. Henderson
56. Hutchinson
57. J.R. King
58. Jerry L. White
59. Keidan
60. Ludington
61. Mackenzie
62. Mann
63. Marcus Garvey
64. Mark Twain
65. Marquette
66. ML King High School
67. Mason
68. Maybury
69. Moses Field Center
70. Munger
71. Neinas
72. Nichols
73. Noble
74. Osborn College Prep
75. Osborn Evergreen
76. Osborn Mathematics and Science
77. Palmer Park
78. Pasteur
79. Paul Robeson
80. Priest
81. Pulaski
82. Randolph HS/CTC
83. Renaissance
84. Roberto Clemente
85. Ronald Brown
86. Sampson
87. Schulze
88. Spain
89. Thirkell
90. Thurgood Marshall
91. Vernor
92. Wayne Elementary
93. Western International
94. Westside Academy
 
Although the Michigan Legislature allocated $48.7 million in supplemental funding in March, it will only be enough to fund employees through June 30, according to DPS Transition Manager Steven Rhodes.

Rhodes said the state House is reviewing a $715 million comprehensive education package, and without it, DPS will be unable to pay teachers, including those who elected to be paid on a 26-pay cycle.

"While we recognize this puts Detroit's parent community in a difficult situation, the district's broken promises and gross negligence leaves us no choice," DFT Executive Vice President Terrence Martin said.

DFT will hold a rally at 10 a.m. Monday outside the Fisher Building, 3011 W Grand Blvd.

"We've reached a breaking point," DFT President Ivy Bailey said. "The truth is we can no longer take the district's word at face value, nor can we trust promises made by the district. ... We're asking Lansing to pay the debt, fully and fairly fund Detroit schools and return local control so that the leaders of our schools are accountable to our community."

The full DPS statement reads:

"The $48.7 million in supplemental funding recently passed by the Michigan Legislature will provide enough funding for DPS to pay all employees through the end of the fiscal year on June 30, 2016. However, without the passage of the more comprehensive $715 million education reform package that is now being considered by the Michigan House of Representatives, there will be no funds available to pay DPS employees – those teachers on a 26-pay cycle included. There also will be no funds available for the District to conduct Summer School or provide the year-round special education services that a number of our students rely on. I urge our legislators to act thoughtfully, but with the urgency that this situation demands.”

Update: DPS Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes has released a statement on the sick-out.

“We understand that the DFT has chosen to engage in a sickout tomorrow May 2.It is unfortunate that the DFT has chosen to make a statement in this way.  I am on record as saying that I cannot in good conscience ask anyone to work without pay.  Wages that are owed to teachers should be paid. I understand the frustration and anger that our teachers feel. I am, however, confident that the legislature will support the request that will guarantee that teachers will receive the pay that is owed to them. The DFT's choice for a drastic call to action was not necessary.

I am confident that the Michigan Legislature understands the urgency of this situation and will act in a timely manner to ensure that operations of the school district continue uninterrupted. I am working everyday with policy makers in Lansing to move this legislation forward. A districtwide sickout will be counterproductive and detrimental to the efforts of everyone working to help the District.

In my two months in office, I have established a productive working relationship with the leadership of the DFT. I look forward to continuing that strong relationship, so that jointly we can achieve our mutual goal of creating a new DPS under local control that we can be proud of.”

At about 8:30 p.m. Sunday, officials said only DPS can close DPS schools, at and this time, the district has not closed any DPS schools.

 FOX 2 received a statement from DFT Interim President Ivy Bailey in response to Rhodes' statement at about 10 p.m. Sunday:

“Judge Rhodes is right—we have built a collaborative relationship between his office and our union. But at a certain point, we can no longer move forward on good intentions alone. We were already promised that teachers would be paid for their work ‪through June 30, but now DPS says it can’t keep that promise. Teachers in Detroit have sacrificed greatly to ensure our schools stay open and our kids have the opportunity to learn. But working without pay is the straw that breaks the camel’s back. Teachers have mortgage payments, utility bills, grocery bills. Being paid for their work isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity.

“We look forward to finding a solution that keeps our schools open for our students and keeps the bargain of being paid for one’s labor.”


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