By John Ruberry
Last week five public schools in Detroit were closed due to sick-outs, that is, these for-the-kids educators called in sick when they weren’t, likely by the direction of the Detroit Federation of Teachers.
This is a strike in everything but name, and teacher strikes are illegal in Michigan. And no one it seems, except for Detroit News reporter Ingrid Jacques, to be angry about these phone-in walk outs. Why aren’t the parents up in arms?
Detroit Public Schools, a nest of malfeasance for decades, are currently being run by a state emergency manager. Next month DPS faces a balloon debt millstone–after which its debt obligations may exceed its benefits and payroll expenses. Bankruptcy may be coming soon to DPS.
You can cancel the “Detroit is Back!” party, although President Obama will be in the Motor City for North American International Auto Show and will undoubtedly hail the resurgence of Detroit.
Monday, according the Guardian, the teacher sick-out may spread to forty schools.
Will the “sick” teachers be punished? Will their union be cited for organizing an illegal strike? Will Detroit parents finally get angry? The parents should already be angry because for the fourth straight year Detroit’s elementary schools ranked last in reading and math scores among big cities.
Pick your cliché: Do you prefer “rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic?” Or is it “Fiddling while Rome burns?”
Let me conclude about Detroit’s so-called resurgence since the city emerged from bankruptcy in 2014. Yes, there are construction and rehab projects under way, mostly downtown, in Midtown, and in New Center. Yes, some hipsters have moved into those areas as well as Corktown. But eventually some of them will start families. The prospect of sending their children to a DPS school–along with the burden of a municipal income tax, will likely send those hipsters packing.
UPDATE January 11: 58 schools are closed today because of the latest sick-out.
John Ruberry regularly blogs at Marathon Pundit.