May 12, 2016
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Detroit, MI – The Michigan state House passed a package of bills May 5 that would create a new Detroit school district and void teachers’ union contracts with the old one.
The measures, approved largely along party lines, would also prohibit collective bargaining over scheduling, end pay raises for seniority, and let uncertified teachers teach in city schools. Teachers’ union leaders denounced the measures as “some of the most despicable anti-student, anti-public school, anti-teacher provisions we've seen in America,” in a joint statement by Detroit Federation of Teachers interim President Ivy Bailey, American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, and state AFT President David Hecker. The state Senate, which in March passed a different set of bills that provided more funds for Detroit schools, is expected to take up the House package this week. Republican Senate Majority Leader Arlan Meekhof said he’d like to see a more thoughtful, bipartisan version passed, but said Detroit teachers “didn’t help themselves” by staging a two-day sickout April 25-26. Read more