New Bills Introduced to Address Illegal DPS Teacher Strikes

Legislation was just introduced by state Senators Phil Pavlov, Joe Hune, and David Robertson that would tackle the rampant, illegal Detroit Public School teacher strikes.

(You can find links to the legislation: here, here, and here.)

dps_sickout_1452183021222_694021_ver1.0.jpgWednesday, all but a dozen or so of the city’s 100 public schools were closed, forcing most of the district’s 46,000 students to stay home. 

That's right. Nearly 50,000 kids didn't get a chance to learn anything yesterday, and parents had to scramble to find a way to take care of their children. Many of those children also rely on receiving meals at school. 

Ingrid Jacques with The Detroit News hit the nail on the head in her most recent Op-Ed, “No excuse for DPS teacher strikes”:

Such a widespread teacher sickout is clearly a strike, which is illegal in Michigan. Public employees are not allowed to strike, but that obviously isn’t scaring these teachers. That’s because current law makes it tedious for school administrators to prove strikes took place, as well as punish offending teachers and their unions.

Under the law, teachers can face fines or losing their job. But the law needs to be changed so that district officials can discipline striking teachers in a much more prompt fashion. Senate Education Committee Chair Phil Pavlov, R-St. Clair Township, is working on legislation that would do just that, and he should pursue it as quickly as possible.

Teachers have given lots of reasons for striking, from support of ousted Detroit Federation of Teachers President Steve Conn to bad school conditions to the fact President Barack Obama visited Detroit Wednesday.

In the end, the reason doesn’t matter. There is no excuse to block that many children from the classroom.

Time after time, teacher union bullies in Detroit have put innocent kids out onto the street. It is no surprise that over half of the students in Detroit attend charter public schools. Parents are sick of the antics of Steve Conn and the unions. They want their kids in a classroom learning to read and write, not how to avoid responsibility.

It’s time for the District and Lansing to put an end to these illegal strikes and terminate employees who choose to violate the law. 

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