April 26, 2016
By Doug Cunningham
Workers Independent News
Detroit, MI – Detroit American Federation of Teachers union members, parents and clergy and other labor leaders are rallying in Lansing Tuesday for "Schools Our Kids Deserve."
They are urging the legislature to pass funding bills to stabilize the Detroit Public Schools.
Terrance Martin is the Executive Vice-President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. He says Detroit students are enduring dilapidated conditions as the district struggles with a huge debt under the state Emergency Manager laws.
[Terrence Martin]: "We've lost over half of our membership in the last ten years because of these laws. We've closed over half of our schools because of these laws. And so we've been hit tremendously."
Martin says the expansion of Emergency Manager laws in 2011 usurped local democratic control, allowing emergency managers to rule with iron fists, slashing budgets, negating union contracts and taking local government and schools decisions completely out of local hands.
[Terrence Martin]: "This is an attack on labor, an attack on working families, an attack on all of us. Those who care about education, care about children, care about those who work a job each and every day. This is an attack upon us all. It takes away power, it takes away our ability to really voice our concerns for change. And so we are standing shoulder to shoulder with our students and parents and our faith leaders and labor leaders to show Lansing that we deserve better." http://www.laborradio.org