Monday, January 11, 2016

Teacher ‘Sickout’ Closes More Than Half of Detroit’s Schools
January 11 at 9:00 PM
Washington Post

A wave of teacher absences described by an activist as “rolling strikes” shut down more than half of Detroit’s 100 public schools Monday, keeping thousands of students at home as a “sickout” entered a second week.

A handful of high schools were forced to close last week as teachers called in sick. But the action Monday was more dramatic as more teachers stayed home.

Sixty-four of the district’s 97 schools were closed Monday morning, Detroit Public Schools spokeswoman Michelle Zdrodowski said.

The district, with 46,000 students, has been in turmoil, struggling with poor morale among staff members, millions of dollars in debt and families that have other school choices for their kids.

Ivy Bailey, interim president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, displayed photos of mold in schools. “This is why those sickouts happened,” she told reporters, adding that classes have too many students and rodents are plentiful.

Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) wants to pay off the debt and spin off a new district, but he lacks support in the legislature. There are no current negotiations between teachers and schools, which are run by a Snyder appointee, emergency manager Darnell Earley.

— From news services

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