We Will Be Back To Work Tomorrow, But This Is Far From A Win

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Photo by Daniel Lobo, used via Creative Commons 2.0 License

Today, Transition Manager Judge Steven Rhodes provided a signed document stating DPS teachers will be paid for services rendered.

We will all be back to work tomorrow.

However, as this was happening, the Republican majority House of Representatives were busy voting down a proposed forensic audit, and voting down the proposal to return teachers the $10,000 in TIP money they each “loaned” the district out of their checks in 2009 (not to mention restoring the 10% pay cuts that were taken on top of the $10k, or unfreezing salary steps. Step one bachelor’s level teachers are currently taking home only $720 net pay every 2 weeks).

They voted FOR a bill that will effectively split the district into an old and new one, that will allow for non-certified teachers to be hired to teach in the schools, will make all current teachers reapply for our own jobs, and will further limit power of the union and increase penalties for sick outs or protests. So yes, we’ll get paid for the rest of this year. But in the fall things will only be worse.

Those that reapply and remain on will be subject to whatever starting salary the “new” district desires to give – there is no obligation for them to honor previous steps and years of experience.

Rather than improve conditions for teachers, they can now simply bring in someone else not qualified who will work for less.

Obviously this will also translate into poor quality instruction for the students, and higher staff turnover. Every other district in Michigan, and even charter schools, are legally obligated to hire only certified teachers.

But Detroit schools can now entrust your child’s education to anyone. The state calls this a “restoration practice” – a more appropriate term would be “separate and UNEQUAL.”

As suspected, the money was there. If it suddenly materialized in two days, it means it was always there. This was simply a tactic – using our livelihood and mental health as leverage to get a crooked bill pushed through. Starving us out so the scraps then offered look like a feast in comparison.

Raise a glass of Flint water in a toast to the continued state dismantling of Detroit education. We’ll be back to work tomorrow and will receive our remaining pay, but rest assured this is far from a win.

Editor’s Note: Carole Hoste is a Detroit Public Schools teacher. This guest post is used with the express permission of the authorDaily Detroit welcomes guest contributions as a platform for furthering the Detroit conversation. If you have one of your own, get in touch.

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