Contents of this issue:
- DPS board approves contract for new superintendent
- Detroit Federation of Teachers owes $2 million to affiliates
- Grosse Pointe custodians may contribute more to benefits
- Eastern Michigan University, union settle on tentative contract
- State lawmakers to repay Apple for trips on educational tech
- Win an iPod; Map: Does your district competitively contract?
DPS BOARD APPROVES CONTRACT FOR NEW SUPERINTENDENT
DETROIT — The Detroit Public Schools board of education voted 8-3 to grant its new superintendent, Connie Calloway, a salary of $280,000 a year for five years, according to the Detroit Free Press.
Calloway is currently making $165,000 a year serving as superintendent of the Normandy schools, near St. Louis, Mo., and will start working for DPS on July 1 if she agrees to the contract, the Free Press reported.
The contract also includes a benefit package with a car, security detail and a potential performance bonus of $30,000. Parent Gail Tubbs expressed some concern about the cost of the contract, according to the Free Press.
"My question is, can we afford this now?" Tubbs said, according to the Free Press. "I really wanted to see language that ties her salary to performance."
Detroit Free Press, "Contract OK'd for schools chief," April 13, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "DPS hires new superintendent effective immediately," March 13, 2007
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Former DPS CEO Grudgingly Testified to the Benefits of Educational Liberty," Aug. 10, 2005
Michigan Education Digest, "Sudden changes in DPS superintendent search," Dec. 19, 2006
DETROIT FEDERATION OF TEACHERS OWES $2 MILLION TO AFFILIATES
DETROIT — The Detroit Federation of Teachers may be bankrupt in September if it does not find a way to pay its affiliates approximately $2 million in past dues, The Detroit News reported.
A number of factors have contributed to the union's debt, including the purchase of a new building in 2004, unexpected costs from a two-week strike in September and significant drops in union membership, according to The News. Teacher strikes are illegal under Michigan law.
A financial review of the DFT by its national affiliate, the American Federation of Teachers, stated the union first ran into trouble after spending $3 million of its reserves in 2004 and 2005 to purchase and renovate a new headquarters. The review also stated the new building costs about $325,000 more per year to operate than the old building, The News reported. Teachers and union officials hoped that some of the unused space in the building would be rented out to balance the extra costs.
"We thought it was the right move at the time," Patricia Kilby, a teacher at Joy Middle School, told The News.
The DFT has also lost roughly 3,000 members since 2004, resulting in nearly a $1 million loss in revenue each year. The illegal teacher strike in September, which denied instruction to students for several days, cost the union about $200,000 more than expected and delayed dues payments. This resulted in a shortfall of approximately $500,000, according to The News. The union is remaining optimistic, though.
"We will get past this," DFT President Virginia Cantrell told The News. "I'm not worried because we're all working together."
The Detroit News, "Detroit teacher union owes $2M to state and national affiliates," April 12, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "Detroit teachers oust union leader," Dec. 5, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "DPS, DFT disagree on compulsory dues, legal fees," Nov. 21, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "DPS teachers union strikes," Aug. 29, 2006
GROSSE POINTE CUSTODIANS MAY CONTRIBUTE MORE TO BENEFITS
GROSSE POINTE, Mich. — Grosse Pointe custodians have tentatively agreed to a contract that would stop the district from contracting for janitorial services with a private company, according to The Detroit News.
The potential two-year contract would include a pay freeze, expect employees to contribute more to their own health insurance and require them to pay any increases in the cost of their state retirement benefits, The News reported. The custodians are members of the Michigan Education Association school employee union.
The district has strongly considered contracting with the national custodial firm, Sodexho, to save $868,000 a year of its $6 million custodial, maintenance and engineering budget, according to The News.
The Detroit News, "District custodial staff may ink deal," April 6, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "Jackson schools extend contract with cleaning service," March 27, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Map: School contracting continues to grow," Feb. 23, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "Competitive contracting popular in Port Huron area," March 20, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "Profit has a role in public schools," Feb. 23, 2007
EASTERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY, UNION SETTLE ON TENTATIVE CONTRACT
YPSILANTI, Mich. — Eastern Michigan University and its professors union agreed on a tentative five-year contract that would include pay raises while expecting professors to contribute to their own health insurance, according to The Detroit News.
Under the contract, professors would receive pay increases of 3.5 percent, 4.06 percent, 3.75 percent and 3.88 percent over four years. Faculty would also contribute an average of $1,000 to their own health insurance, The News reported.
The EMU faculty had been working with an expired contract for 7 months and went on strike for two weeks at the beginning of the school year, according to The News.
The Detroit News, "EMU, professors union reach tentative settlement," April 11, 2007
Michigan Education Digest, "EMU faculty end illegal strike," Sept. 19, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "EMU professors stop strike for a day," Sept. 12, 2006
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Teachers' Strikes, Court Orders and Michigan Law," Sept. 12, 2006
Michigan Education Digest, "CMU saves millions without MESSA," April 11, 2006
STATE LAWMAKERS TO REPAY APPLE FOR TRIPS ON EDUCATIONAL TECH
LANSING, Mich. — Three state lawmakers will reimburse Apple Inc. $1,702 each for a trip they took at the company's expense to learn about educational technology after word got out that Democrats wished to set aside $38 million for students' iPods, The Detroit News reported.
"The only reason we're paying for it is to end this public perception that something is misguided," Rep. Tim Melton told The News.
Melton, who is chairman of the House Education Policy Committee, said that the announcement to have the state pay for iPods for every Michigan student was erroneous. House Speaker Andy Dillon and Rep. Matthew Gillard also participated in the trip. Melton claims that providing iPods to students was never part of the plan, The News reported.
"There was never a plan to provide an iPod for every child in the state of Michigan," Melton told The News.
The Detroit News, "Michigan students won't get iPods; lawmakers will repay Apple for trip," April 12, 2007
Michigan Education Report, "State laptop program erased," Aug. 16, 2005
Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Laptops for Sixth Graders?" April 6, 2004
Michigan Education Digest, "Gov. Granholm withdraws state funding from laptop computer program," Oct. 28, 2003
WIN AN IPOD; MAP: DOES YOUR DISTRICT COMPETITIVELY CONTRACT?
MIDLAND, Mich. — The spring issue of Michigan Education Report offers a map illustrating which districts have taken advantage of competitive contracting. It can be accessed here:
Michigan Education Report is offering readers a chance to win an iPod when they comment on articles in its spring 2007 issue.
Comments can be made via e-mail about stories on the U.S. House Fellows program (http://www.educationreport.org/8238), school district health benefits savings (http://www.educationreport.org/8239), whether private employees in public schools provide the same quality of service as public employees in public schools (http://educationreport.org/8254 and
http://www.educationreport.org/8255), a community college cooperating with home-school students (http://www.educationreport.org/8228) and the role of profit in public schools (http://www.educationreport.org/8250). Please visit http://www.educationreport.org/8332 for more information.
MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report (http://www.educationreport.org), a quarterly newspaper with a circulation of approximately 150,000 published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy (http://www.mackinac.org), a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.
Contact Managing Editor Sarah Grether at
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