School & District Management

Teacher Sickout Closes at Least Seven Detroit Schools

By Corey Mitchell — December 10, 2015 1 min read
  • Save to favorites
  • Print

Classes at seven Detroit schools were canceled Thursday after teachers staged an unannounced sickout, reports television station WDIV.

Thursday’s action marks the second sickout in the district in the past two weeks as teachers continue to express their disapproval of Gov. Rick Snyder’s school reform plans.

The governor’s $715 million proposal would pay off the Detroit district’s debt, which would be left with the existing school system, and create a new district to educate the city’s students. The Detroit schools have already been under state control since 2009 and teachers have faced pay cuts, higher health care costs, and larger class sizes in the years since.

In response to the sickout, Emergency Manager Darnell Earley said the district has a right to review suspected sick leave abuses.

“The review will include requiring medical documentation to substantiate the illness in order to determine whether the reported time was legitimately charged as personal illness,” Earley said in a statement. “Failure to provide documentation may result in the absence being without pay, and further disciplinary action being taken in accordance with district policy.”

A similar sickout prompted three Detroit schools to close Dec. 1. The sickouts are just the latest action in a district where teachers are increasingly distressed.

As my colleague Stephen Sawchuk reported on Education Week’s Teacher Beat blog, the American Federation of Teachers will assume control of the operations of its Detroit local, the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Internal strife led the union’s executive board to oust its president this fall

“Local internal political fights have diverted attention and focus from the external quadruple whammy of austerity, benefit cuts, widespread charterization, and layoffs,” AFT President Randi Weingarten said in a statement.

Not all Detroit teachers are happy with the move. The Detroit News quoted one teacher bemoaning AFT’s intervention. The newspaper also reports that a group of teachers will gather today to announce a set of demands including “no proposed chartering of 31 Detroit schools” and “restoration of all pay steps and the 10 percent pay cut.”

A version of this news article first appeared in the District Dossier blog.

Commenting has been disabled on effective Sept. 8. Please visit our FAQ section for more details. To get in touch with us visit our contact page, follow us on social media, or submit a Letter to the Editor.


This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Teaching Webinar
What’s Next for Teaching and Learning? Key Trends for the New School Year
The past 18 months changed the face of education forever, leaving teachers, students, and families to adapt to unprecedented challenges in teaching and learning. As we enter the third school year affected by the pandemic—and
Content provided by Instructure
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Curriculum Webinar
How Data and Digital Curriculum Can Drive Personalized Instruction
As we return from an abnormal year, it’s an educator’s top priority to make sure the lessons learned under adversity positively impact students during the new school year. Digital curriculum has emerged from the pandemic
Content provided by Kiddom
This content is provided by our sponsor. It is not written by and does not necessarily reflect the views of Education Week's editorial staff.
Equity & Diversity Webinar
Leadership for Racial Equity in Schools and Beyond
While the COVID-19 pandemic continues to reveal systemic racial disparities in educational opportunity, there are revelations to which we can and must respond. Through conscientious efforts, using an intentional focus on race, school leaders can
Content provided by Corwin

EdWeek Top School Jobs

Teacher Jobs
Search over ten thousand teaching jobs nationwide — elementary, middle, high school and more.
View Jobs
Principal Jobs
Find hundreds of jobs for principals, assistant principals, and other school leadership roles.
View Jobs
Administrator Jobs
Over a thousand district-level jobs: superintendents, directors, more.
View Jobs
Support Staff Jobs
Search thousands of jobs, from paraprofessionals to counselors and more.
View Jobs

Read Next

School & District Management 10 Ways to Tackle Education's Urgent Challenges
As the school year gets underway, we ask hard questions about education’s biggest challenges and offer some solutions.
2 min read
Conceptual Image of schools preparing for the pandemic
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Reported Essay Principals Need Social-Emotional Support, Too
By overlooking the well-being of their school leaders, districts could limit how much their schools can flourish.
7 min read
Conceptual Illustration
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management From Our Research Center Educator Stress, Anti-Racism, and Pandemic Response: How You're Feeling
A new nationally representative survey offers key takeaways from teachers, principals, and district leaders.
EdWeek Research Center
1 min read
2021 BI COVER no text DATA crop
Pep Montserrat for Education Week
School & District Management Download 8 Tips for Building a Digital Learning Plan That Conquers Chaos
Craft flexible strategies, encourage experimentation with new instructional models, and regularly solicit feedback.
1 min read
onsr edtech tips