In Legislative Update, Press Release

Supplemental will allow education to continue for Detroit’s children

MICHIGAN — AFT Michigan and the Detroit Federation of Teachers applauded a $50 million supplemental appropriation bill passed by the House and Senate today that will allow the Detroit Public Schools to meet financial obligations through the end of the year so that our schools stay open for our students. The bill’s passage will allow DPS to continue its pathway to success.

“We are hopeful that when the legislature returns from its spring recess they will take up the Senate legislation that creates a return to local governance, support from the state to pay the debt, and the transfer of DPS employees and the terms and conditions of their employment to the Detroit Community District,” said David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan. “We appreciate that many legislators have shown a willingness to listen to the input of educators and parents. Teachers and staff are in this for the long haul and the bill passage today is hopefully a sign of good things to come for kids in Detroit.”

When discussions of solving the financial crisis facing Detroit Public Schools began more than a year ago, AFT Michigan and the Detroit Federation of Teachers approached the issue with three guiding principles: a solution that provides what children need, returns control of the schools to the people of Detroit, and is fair to teachers and support staff who are committed to providing children with quality education. A House bill package introduced in February has some positive aspects but, to date, does not measure up to these principles.

“We’re glad that the legislature put the best interests of students first and approved the supplemental funding so students can continue their education,” said Ivy Bailey, interim president of Detroit Federation of Teachers. “While this is a great step, more needs to be done, including working to improve the Senate Detroit education package and having it enacted into law. We look forward to working with our Representatives to make this happen.”

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