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House Unveils Attack on Educators, Unions in DPS Bills

Feb 23, 2016

Last week Michigan House Republicans introduced a radical plan for Detroit Public Schools, encapsulating an agenda that so-called "school reform" advocates want to see implemented statewide. 

The six-bill package would gut collective bargaining in DPS; open the door to widespread privatization of staff, including instructional staff; link teacher pay to student test scores; and permit non-certified teachers for Detroit's schoolchildren. All DPS schools would move to a balanced calendar with no more than 30 days off at one time, and all new Detroit teachers would be shifted to a 401k retirement plan from the current hybrid of defined contribution and defined benefit, jeopardizing proper funding of current pension plans across the state. 

The six-bill package (HB 5382, HB 5383, HB 5384, HB 5385, HB 5386, HB 5387) signals a House-Senate split on how to avoid a DPS bankruptcy. Proposals in both chambers would split DPS in two, creating a new community district to take over day-to-day operations while the old district would remain to pay off debt. However, Republicans in the House indicated their anti-teacher, anti-union "reforms" must be included in any rescue plan.  Read More.