You Can’t Have It Both Ways


-Jarrett Skorup

From the Free Press:

The Detroit Federation of Teachers today called 394 layoff notices the Detroit Public Schools sent to teachers in June a contract violation and demanded the district rescind them or face a lawsuit.

On the one hand, as pointed out in an excellent recent article from the Mackinac Center, the DFT fights for constant higher wages, more benefits, better health care, longer lunch breaks, less classroom time, and more members; on the other, they want to ignore that these things lead to unemployment.  To believe otherwise disregards economic reality.

To be fair, the DFT was arguing against the firings based on a technicality (allegedly the paperwork wasn’t done on time).  However, the union has opposed nearly every teacher firing at any time.  Millions around Michigan are tightening their belts and a stagnant bureaucracy doesn’t have to? 

The tragedy here is that some very good teachers are undoubtedly being fired (or will eventually, something has to happen to close that deficit).  Are all of them really worse than every single tenured teacher in the district?  As a result of the near-impossibility of firing tenured teachers (even bad ones) the district may save money, but also make itself worse in the process.

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One thought on “You Can’t Have It Both Ways

  1. Who is the author of the MCPP article?

    I like how the DFT has also been trying to explain away layoffs. In the May edition of the Detroit Teacher they wrote:

    “Layoff notices were sent to 609 DFT
    members on April 9. While this is certainly
    alarming and a point of concern,
    the DFT is confident that the following
    factors will minimize the direct impact
    upon our members:
    • DPS traditionally issues approximately
    150 more layoff notices than it
    actually will need. This reduces that 609
    figure to about 459
    • In a typical year an average of 300
    DFT members retire at the end of a given
    school year. That reduces the 459 figure
    to about 159
    • 50-100 members separate from the
    district for other reasons, e.g. expired certificates,
    voluntary resignations, or for
    cause terminations. That reduces that 159
    figure to as low as 59.”

    It seems like double counting.

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