DETROIT - The Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Detroit school district have come to an agreement on the 2020-21 school year, meaning the strike that educators threatened to impose if the two sides couldn't find common ground won't be happening.
Despite the calls for a virtual-only start to school only by teachers, in-person schooling will be available to students at the Detroit Public Schools Community District under the agreement.
Under the rules included in the Letter of Agreement, any in-class learning will following social distancing rules that require students and staff to be at least six feet apart. Only 20 students will be allowed per classroom.
However, it will be up to the DFT members to decide who teaches online and who teach in person. Members that decide will remain in that role for the first nine weeks of the semester - through Nov. 11. For the teachers that do agree to in-person learning, they'll receive specialized training on the best practices and safety precautions.
There will also be $750 in hazard pay for each marking period during the school year.
DPSCD will also be required to offer COVID-19 testing at no charge to employees and students on a voluntary basis. Any student that is tested will require parental consent.
Much of the rules outlined in the agreement are contingent on the creation of a Labor-Management Committee on Schools Reopening, or a CSR. The group, consisting of three people from the district and three people from the DFT will meet weekly to review reopening issues and review coronavirus data in the tri-county area.
After teachers had voted to strike if an agreement couldn't be struck, many members began picketing in hopes of nixing in-person learning in the fall.
You can read the entire agreement here.