Amidst lawsuit, Detroit teachers: We are here because we love the kids

- Although the debt has been cleared in the Detroit school district, teachers and union leaders are still seeking more change they hope can be enforced in a courtroom.

They filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against Gov. Rick Snyder and Michigan's education board calling for that change.

"It's a change in policy hopefully, a change in policy to the State of Michigan that says that these things are going to be a priority for every student and every school district regardless of what zip code you live," said Terrence Martin, said Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) executive vice president.

A few factors highlighted outside Cooke Elementary in Detroit, reading levels are far below the normal standards.

The City of Detroit has a high percentage of special needs children compared to anywhere else in the State of Michigan and that matter is not being addressed when it comes to funding.

"Somebody needs to say look, this is not fair because Detroit has all these special needs students there needs to be a policy put forth that if you have all these students, the money is there to be able to finance those students and to have the resources necessary for those students with special needs," said DFT Interim President Ivy Bailey.

When it comes to money being spent, the lawsuit claims teachers frequently spend $1,000 per year purchasing supplies to allow them to teach.

At the same time, they have outdated text books.

"They're not here for the money. They could've left a long time ago. They're still here because they love the kids, so I want to make sure that everyone knows that -- that Detroit teachers are here because we love the Detroit kids," said Robin Jennings, a Detroit school teacher.

Bailey also spoke on the ratification of the recent union contract.

"The contract is not perfect. It's definitely not what our teachers deserve, but it puts us on a path forward," she said.

The new contract gives Detroit teachers a voice and bonuses -- just some of the things that had been taken away from them.

Also, there will be a decrease in classroom sizes and health issues in buildings will finally be addressed.

"We have lost many, many things out of our contracts since I've been (here) over 24 years," Jennings said. "So I see hope. I see some of those things that have been brought back."

A spokesperson for the governor's office says they will not comment on pending litigation.

The state superintendent says he is concerned with the reading levels of all children in Michigan. However, he has not seen a lawsuit yet and can't speak directly to its claims.

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