View Full Version : Detroit May Close Half of Its Schools to Pay for Union Benefits

01-18-2011, 01:04 AM
A report from the Detroit News Monday suggested that without government aid, the city of Detroit will be forced to close down nearly half of the city’s public schools in the next two years. Additionally, the paper warns that average high school class sizes will swell to 62 students by the following year.

These startling statistics were laid out in a deficit-reduction plan filed with the state of Michigan by the city’s Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb. Bobb’s role is working to slash the $327 million deficit the Detroit school district has accrued over the years.

According to the Detroit News, Detroit Public Schools considered filing for bankruptcy in 2009 but declined. In the past year alone, debt in the district has increased by more than $100 million, brought on by a “mix of revenue declines in property taxes, reduced state aid, declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge this past fall.”

It’s hard to think of a sadder commentary on a government so fiscally desperate and so captured by its workers that it may be forced to abandon property to thieves. But are they the scavengers or the union?


01-18-2011, 04:42 AM
...declining enrollment and an unplanned staffing surge this past fall.

01-18-2011, 09:50 AM
Robert Bobb is a good guy, and he has an ongoing battle with the AFT. The AFT has gotten the parents on their side using scare tactics. Bobb was appointed by Granholm, incidentally, and will probably get the new governor's backing.

The few coworkers I have who still live in Detroit and have their kids enrolled in DPS are looking at charter schools, unless their kids are at Cass Tech or one of the other specialty schools. Most, though, have moved to Oakland or Macomb Counties.

01-18-2011, 09:55 AM
More anti-union propaganda.

01-18-2011, 10:22 AM
More Derp DERP.

Wow Pukeon, is there no subject that you're not totally wrong on and have to act like a fucking tool? Oh, wait...you're a braindead liberal and therefore without intelligence or an independent thought in the sewer that you call your head.

01-18-2011, 10:24 AM
More anti-union propaganda.

This story is false? Show your proof.

01-18-2011, 10:25 AM
More anti-union propaganda.

I live here, work with kids who attend the Detroit Public Schools and have watched their failure for over 20 years. I support unions, when the unions are honestly representing hard working employees. Some Detroit teachers are hard working, but their union is corrupt.

Here's the situation, from someone who watches it play out on a daily basis. The Detroit Public Schools have a 40% or less graduation rate. That is abysmal. It's not all the teachers' fault, but they bear a share of the reponsibility.

A democratic Governor appointed Robert Bobb to watch the state's money, after numerous scandals over the years. The previous republican governor had used heavier-handed methods, and disbanded the elected school board and put his own guy in charge of the entire district.

Robert Bobb started as emergency financial manager a couple of years ago. The first thing he did was make all the teachers report in person for their paychecks-he uncovered thousands of dollars were going to people who had been fired, because they had not been purged from the payroll. He used the money he found that way to repair several school buildings. The first fall he was in the job, he got Bill Cosby to come to Detroit and work to encourage the parents to be involved in their children's educations. Cosby did some great ads, where he challenged parents with this: "I'm investing in your children's education in Detroit, Are you?".

Shortly after that, the AFT began to challenge every single thing Bobb did. Then they had meetings with the parents to tell them how much their children, who are already receiving one of the worst educations in the state (Benton Harbor's schools are actually worse, though), are going to suffer under the changes when really only bad teachers will suffer.

Detroit teachers make a lot of money. They are paid more than most of the suburban districts, except for the really wealthy areas like Grosse Point or Birmingham. The average DPS teacher with a Bachelor degree makes about $65,000 a year. Yet, they go on strike every few years to demand more, from a city that can't afford it.

01-18-2011, 12:03 PM
I just hope that Snyder and the new State legislature leave education alone or increase state funding while making their cuts in areas that are wasted. I hate that this and emergency services are always the first ones to get cut. Thankfully they all gave themselves 10% pay cuts to help and show they are serious, wish it was more like 25% and come down into the middle of the pack instead of top 10 in pay.

01-18-2011, 12:08 PM
Don't bother, Noon. Some asshole in Canada knows more than you.