In an overnight legislative session, the Michigan House Republicans finally approved a $500 million relief package for the Detroit Public School systems (DPS). Due to the obvious time constraints, they performed a 15-hour legislative session to put an end to teacher sick-outs and put children back in school. Many Democrats in the Michigan State Legislature did not approve of the bill claiming that although it will provide short-term relief for the DPS, it does not solve long term issues and restricts a teacher’s right to strike and participate in collective bargaining. As a result, Kevin Cotter, House Speaker, had to scramble to come up with enough votes for the bill to be passed. After many compromises, one of which imposes “tougher anti-strike policies designed to crack down on the sort of mass teacher sickouts that closed most Detroit schools Monday and Tuesday” (Jonathon Oosting). This proposed legislation has been met with plenty of opposition, as many people believe that DPS requires closer to $800 million in order to survive. However, the current bill is the best that could be agreed upon under the circumstances; it’s only a matter of time before the Senate either approves or amends the bill and hopefully puts an end to the sick-outs.
Article by Jonathon Oosting, summary by Murray Manley
Source: The Detroit News