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April 21, 2011

Detroit's Mass Teacher Layoffs May Prove Bellwether For Education Reform Nationwide

Simone Landon:

When districtwide layoff notices hit every one of Detroit Public Schools' 5,466 unionized employees late last week, an American Federation of Teachers spokeswoman called the move the largest "one fell swoop" firing of teachers in union memory.

More broadly troubling to teachers and education-reform observers, however, was DPS Emergency Financial Manager Robert Bobb's concurrent announcement that he plans to unilaterally modify the Detroit Federation of Teachers' collective bargaining agreement, the first test of a sweeping new state law.

Public Act 4, signed by Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder (R) in March, grants the emergency managers of troubled school districts the power to "reject, modify, or terminate one or more terms and conditions of an existing collective bargaining agreement." Under the law, Bobb could choose to abrogate the Detroit teachers' contract entirely.

Posted by Jim Zellmer at April 21, 2011 1:38 AM
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