Committee reports bills to punish educators without dealing with deplorable conditions
Lansing — Today, by a party line vote of 4 Republicans to 1 Democrats, members on the Senate Education Committee voted to send a package of bills to the full Senate that would punish those who spoke out about the deplorable conditions in the Detroit Public Schools – and extend those punishments to all public school employees in the state. Rather than punishing those who highlighted the issues, the Senate Education Committee should work on legislation that addresses these issues.
“Taking action to punish those speaking out rather than acknowledging and addressing the conditions in our schools is nothing more than an attack on those who are speaking up on behalf of Detroit’s children,”said David Hecker, president of AFT Michigan. “This legislation is nothing more than a political attack on teachers. The time for political games is over – it is now time for the action Detroit’s students desperately need.”
Reports show that Detroit’s public school buildings have numerous code violations and yet DPS still lacks a comprehensive capital plan to bring our schools up to 21st century standards. Despite these findings, the Senate education committee failed to address the appalling conditions in today’s committee.
“Teachers in Detroit work hard to educate our students. Each day these dedicated educators work long hours in crowded classrooms without complaint,” said Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. “However, when the physical conditions of the buildings and inexcusable class sizes hinder the ability for students to learn, good educators have an obligation to speak up – that’s exactly why Detroit’s teachers are speaking out now.”
The bills now go before the full Senate for consideration.