DETROIT (WWJ) – The State Superintendent of Michigan will meet Friday with the Detroit Public Schools’ Emergency Manager to talk about teacher sickouts, and other issues facing Detroit teachers.
State Superintendent Brian Whiston tells WWJ’s Laura Bonnell that he understands the teachers frustration. Mice in the classroom, buckled floors, cold classrooms, leaks, oversized classes … it’s an unacceptable environment in which to teach and for students to learn.READ MORE: Michigan Officials Coordinate Statewide Response To Baby Formula Shortage
“Short-term we have to get in and address the facility issues, long-term we have to get this debt paid off in the next month or two so that more resources can get into the classroom,” said Whiston. ”
Whiston says the money is there and can make a difference but right now it’s paying off the Detroit public school debt.
He says legislators have to come through:
“If the state would come through and help pay off the debt of the Detroit school district – then all of the resources that is currently going into Detroit to pay for the debt – those funds would be freed up then – to pay teachers salaries or lower class sizes or facility issues,” said Whiston.READ MORE: Man Falls 15 Feet From Crumbling Detroit Pedestrian Bridge
One year ago Darnell Earley was named Detroit Public Schools emergency manager by Gov. Rick Snyder — Earley was also the Emergency Manager in the city of Flint as the city transitioned from the Detroit water system to using the Flint River water for residents.
Republican Senator Rick Jones was quick to scold the teachers involved in the sickout:
“What the teachers are doing is causing themselves terrible harm – people are angry across the state — children need to go to school,” said Jones.
Harvey Santana a Detroit lawmaker told WWJ’s Tim Skubick that he’s ‘full-square’ behind the actions of the teachers.'In A Daze': Royal Oak Woman Wins $500K Powerball Prize Over Mother's Day Weekend
Whiston meets with Earley — he says he’s already been in touch with the Detroit Federation of Teachers and the Governor.