A Detroit teacher "sick out" closed nearly 60 public schools in the city Monday morning as teachers protected what were called deplorable teaching conditions at the city's public schools.
The school district initially announced Sunday that 20 schools would be closed for lack of teachers and then updated its Facebook Monday morning added 38 additional schools, according to the Detroit Free Press
The Detroit Federation of Teachers said at a news conference on Monday morning that the district should hold public hearings so teachers can air their concerns.
"It's clear that teachers are feeling an overwhelming sense of frustration over the challenges that they and all DPS employees face as they do their jobs each day," Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Darnell Earley said in a statement, according to WXYZ-TV
"We understand and share their frustration. However, given the reality of the district's financial distress, it is becoming clearer every day that the only way that we are going to be able to address these serious issues in any way is through an investment in DPS by the Michigan legislature. Unfortunately, obtaining that support becomes more challenging with each closure of a school due to a teacher sick-out," said Earley.
The Free Press reported last July that the Detroit Public Schools have been under the control of the State of Michigan for more than six years, but that has not led the troubled district out of its financial problems, with the district facing a budget deficit then of $355 million for the current school year.
"While we don't condone the action taken by a small number of our members, we understand the utter frustration underlying it," Detroit Federation of Teachers interim president Ivy Bailey said on the union's website
"It's the frustration of educators who are trying to teach children in schools where black mold is spreading, in classrooms crammed with twice the number of students they should have, in schools where special needs students lack learning materials, and in high schools that no longer offer art, music or other electives. This is an emergency. And the emergency manager has failed to act."
The said a group of teachers led by ousted teacher union president Steve Conn called Detroit Strikes To win met on Sunday to talk about the sickout and possible teacher's strike.
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