Education groups in tug-of-war over fixing Detroit schools

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Education groups are engaged in a tug-of-war over the best plan of action to help Detroit Public Schools.

Calls for sick-outs continued Monday by a group of protesters made up of some Detroit Public School teachers, but as protesters hit the pavement, members of the Detroit Federation of Teachers said the vast majority of their members do not want to participate in sick-outs.

"No schools closed today. Students were at schools ready to learn, teachers were at schools ready to teach." said Terrance Martin of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.

The Interim Superintendent for DPS praised the teachers' actions. That's why DFT officials said instead of sick-outs, they are focused on finding solutions and calling on state lawmakers to do their part.

"Number one make sure that $50 million is there to keep school system open, and we're asking the Legislature to act quickly to make sure that the debt is paid (and) to make sure that local control is returned," said Ann Mitchell, said American Federation of Teachers, AFL-CIO.

Part of DFT's fight includes increasing support. They have created a video documenting issue facing students and teacher committed to DPS, calls are going out to lawmakers, and they are asking people to sign an "I'm in the Fight" card to pledge their support.

"We've used these community cards. We've been in churches -- nearly 10 churches so far. We've been in neighborhoods knocking from door-to-door, gaining support from our community partners who believe in saving Detroit public schools," Martin said.

He said the groups would be better off working together than apart, but protesters said this is a fight for action and they will continue to fight until demands are met.

"I promise we will continue to disrupt this governor's plans," said education activist Steve Conn.

But for DFT leadership, all eyes are on Lansing.

"If they don't have the money -- the $50 million -- ready on April 8 and schools close, we doing a mass movement to Lansing on (April 12)," Mitchell said.