DETROIT (WWJ) – The Detroit Public Schools won’t be cutting teachers’ pay as was previously planned.
That’s according to the district’s emergency manager Jack Martin, who announced DPS will not increase class sizes and will cancel a 10 percent employee wage reduction that had been set to take effect Oct. 1.
Earlier this month, the district announced several cost-cutting moves as part of the district’s five-year deficit elimination plan, which included larger class sizes and cutting teacher pay; and then, just last week, State Superintendent Mike Flanagan signed off on the plan.
However, at a press conference, school officials said they were updating the plan.
“Detroit Public Schools’ sole focus is and must remain providing the highest quality education possible to the children of Detroit,”Martin said, adding that, going forward, bringing in more students would be key to keeping the district running.
“As I have said numerous times before, maintaining and growing our student base is the only way to ensure that the district is sustainable into the future,” Martin said, thanking the volunteers and staff members who have participated in the school-based and district enrollment campaign. “The retention and attraction of students is absolutely critical to our future, and this year’s and future enrollment will be a key determinant in not only the reduction of our deficit, but more importantly growing the district.”
The district says lass sizes will remain at 25 for grades K-3 (which would not have been altered even under the previous plan), 33 for grades 4 and 5, and 38 for grades 6-12. Martin also noted that based on average daily attendance, DPS’ class size across the district last year averaged only 16 students.
“While we developed strategies to mitigate any potential negative impact, the only sure way to avoid impacting students’ learning environment is to keep class levels the same as last year,” Martin said. “It is my hope that any parent that was considering taking their child out of a DPS school will reconsider and have them remain with their teachers and classmates for another year.”