Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Plan to Restructure Detroit Schools Advances during Sickout

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

Plan to Restructure Detroit Schools Advances during Sickout

Article excerpt

DETROIT * Michigan lawmakers moved swiftly Tuesday to advance a $500 million plan to restructure Detroit public schools by creating a new district a vote intended to ease concerns of teachers who closed the district for a second consecutive day by calling in sick.

Teachers staged the protest out of fear they might not get paid if the district runs out of money. The sick-out idled 45,000 children and presented another crisis for a governor and Legislature engrossed in the water emergency in Flint, a majority-black city like Detroit.

"Teachers, you're going to get paid," Republican House Appropriations Committee Chairman Al Pscholka said before the panel approved the plan over objections that it would not be enough money and also hurt the teachers union. Existing labor agreements would not transfer to the new district, and collective bargaining would be restricted on some issues.

The proposal that passed mostly along party lines would retire the district's huge debt by 2023 and launch a new district in July. …

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