Roberts Defends Planned Budget Cuts During Public Hearing

DETROIT (WWJ) – Detroit schools Emergency Financial manager Roy Roberts held a public hearing on his controversial budget Monday night.  Roberts says his plan includes over 850 pink slips and a 10 percent cut in employee pay and puts more emphasis on students.

WWJ’s Mike Campbell reports that some heated words were heard as Roberts discussed the budget plan.

“Class sizes are reduced from 33 to 30 students in grade four through five and from that 38 to 35 in grades, six through twelve,” said Roberts.

Cass Tech teacher Steve Conn took aim at Roberts:

“If we’re going to change some of the words and things that have been said, about us not educating children in this system, we’ve got to make sure that the money is aimed at the students, and I assure you it is,” said Conn.

Stacey Gray is a self-described product of Detroit schools who recently graduated from Eastern Michigan University.

“I am personally encouraged by some of the things I’ve heard today, I would just like to ask that parents, teachers and other interested community folks,  just give this team a chance to make changes,” said Gray.

Gray says the schools failed her, and she wants to see positive change.

The budget takes effect on Friday.

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