May 9, 2016
Michigan’s legislators have pushed through a bill that even further attacks the Detroit School district and its teachers.
The bill would split the district in two, creating an “old” district saddled with the remaining debt – debt created by the state – and a “new” district charged with teaching students. That district would receive only 35 million dollars in start-up money, instead of the 200 million previously proposed.
All teachers would need to reapply for jobs at the “new” district – a clear way to get rid of all teachers who have been fighting against the state-appointed emergency manager. Once there, teacher and administrator pay would be based on “performance” instead of seniority – again, a way to control teachers and keep them in line. And, harsh sanctions would be imposed on the district and everyone in it if an “illegal strike” takes place.
This is clearly an attempt to punish teachers – and parents, and everyone else who has been fighting against the state control of the district that has been destroying it for more than eight years!
And it would completely destroy the district, wiping out the last remnants of any public education in the city of Detroit.
The teacher’s union has denounced the passage of the bill. But legalities and legislation are stacked against the working class and its children. The only thing that will stop the attack will be a continuing fight – and that fight needs to spread, to shut down not only the schools but the entire city.
And beyond, because working class cities everywhere are experiencing the same attacks.