Detroit Lays Off Almost 5,500 Teachers

Detroit Lays Off Almost 5,500 Teachers

The school system is facing dwindling enrollment and $327 million deficit.

Published April 15, 2011

In the face of decreasing enrollment and a growing budget deficit, Detroit Public Schools sent layoff notices to all 5,466 members of the teachers union. The layoffs are effective July 29.

The system, which serves 73,000 students, is trying to close a $327 million deficit.

“The timeliness of the process allows for ample preparation so that the district can assess staffing needs to create a smooth transition of the start of the school year,” the district announced.

While it’s out of the norm for layoff notices to be sent to every union member, the president of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, Keith Johnson, believes that a majority of teachers have nothing to worry about since most of the notices will end up being rescinded.

“I don’t want people to panic,” he told The Detroit News. “We expected layoff notices since they had to go out by April 30.”

The district will also be revising union contracts and removing elected officials in the school district.

In addition to layoffs, Emergency Manager Robert C.  Bobb is proposing to close half of the city’s schools by the summer in a plan that could send high school class sizes spiraling to 60 students.


(Photo: Jonathan Ersnt/Landov)

Written by Hortense M. Barber


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