Contents of this issue:

  • Illegal teacher strike possible in Detroit
  • Hudson cuts teacher pay 6 percent
  • Galesburg-August considers privatization to save money
  • Highland Park could charterize district
  • Mount Pleasant alternative school could go online

Illegal Teacher Strike Possible in Detroit

DETROIT – Detroit Public Schools and the Detroit Federation of Teachers are just beginning to negotiate a new contract for the one that expires June 30, according to The Detroit News.

Emergency Manager Ray Roberts also told The News he is optimistic that a teacher strike will be avoided. Teachers are not allowed to strike under Michigan law, but the DFT did so in 2006, The News reported.
“What I am going to focus on now is preparing to negotiate a collective bargaining agreement,” DFT President Keith Johnson told The News. “I don’t even think about a work stoppage until I have to.”
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “DPS may avoid strike by teachers,” June 16, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Stop the Madness! Under No Circumstances Should Detroit Teachers be Allowed to Strike,” Dec. 16, 2009

Hudson Cuts Teacher Pay 6 Percent

HUDSON, Mich. – The Hudson school board has implemented a 6 percent pay reduction for teachers as contract negotiations there continue, according to The (Adrian) Daily Telegram.

Hudson has the highest average teacher salaries in Lenawee County, at $69,318, The Telegram reported. Superintendent Mike Osborne, who also took a 6 percent cut, said the move would save the district $148,000 next year, according to The Telegram.
SOURCE: The (Adrian Daily Telegram), “Hudson schools in pay dispute after district imposes 6 percent cut,” June 17, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Districts May Share Superintendent," March 6, 2010

Galesburg-Augusta Considers Privatization to Save Money

GALESBURG, Mich. – Galesburg-Augusta schools could move forward with a plan to privatize custodial and janitorial services unless the unions representing those employees can come up with $180,000 in concessions by the end of June, according to MLive.

The district’s 2013 budget will overspend revenues by $288,000, MLive reported. A four-person custodial crew now costs the district $361,000 annually, but a bid from a private company would provide 6.5 positions at a cost of $264,000 annually, according to MLive.
“No one wants to take responsibility until it’s right in your face and personal,” board President Bob Kinas said at a recent meeting, MLive reported. “Now it is unfortunately to that point. If we want to be Galesburg-Augusta two or three years down the road, we need to start changing our attitudes and working together. We have limited choices.”
SOURCE: MLive, “Bus drivers and custodians temporarily stall privatization at Galesburg-Augusta Community Schools," June 19, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan School Privatization Survey 2011," Dec. 7, 2011

Highland Park Could Charterize District

HIGHLAND PARK, Mich. – The emergency manager appointed to Highland Park schools wants to turn operation of the district over to a charter management company to keep it open, according to The Detroit News.

Highland Park has an $11 million overspending crisis, which could climb another $5 million by the end of this month, according to The News.
“I would focus my time on financial stability, and the education component would then be handled through this chartering academy process,” Joyce Parker told The News.
SOURCE: The Detroit News, “Charter may control Highland Park schools,” June 19, 2012

FURTHER READING: Michigan Education Report, “Muskegon Heights Could Become Charter District,” June 8, 2012

Mount Pleasant Alternative School Could Go Online

MOUNT PLEASANT, Mich. – Mount Pleasant Public Schools could convert its alternative high school into an online-only program in order to balance its 2013 budget, according to The (Mount Pleasant) Morning Sun.

The district currently expects to overspend revenues by about $2.7 million.
MPPS could contract with a private nonprofit called Widening Advancements for Youth, which would provide each student with a laptop, The Morning Sun reported.
SOURCE: The (Mount Pleasant) Morning Sun, “Oasis school may go online to save money,” June 20, 2012

FURTHER READING: Mackinac Center for Public Policy, “Michigan Virtual Revolution: WAY Program,” Nov. 1, 2011

MICHIGAN EDUCATION DIGEST is a service of Michigan Education Report, an online newspaper published by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy, a private, nonprofit, nonpartisan research and educational institute.

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