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Detroit plan would slash schools, cram classrooms
Question of the Day
Class sizes in fourth and fifth grades would increase from 30 now to 39 in 2013-14. Sixth and eighth grades would increase from 35 to 47 in the 2013-14 school year. High school class sizes would rise the most — from 35 students now to 62 in 2013-14.
Whether the plan comes to fruition is another matter. District spokesman Steven Wasko said officials are working on but have not released details of alternative plans to the latest proposal, under which the large class sizes and school closures were suggested. The emergency financial manager updates the state education department monthly of his progress.
Even as ideas are being formulated, the head of Detroit’s teachers union said the proposal on the table will never happen.
“It is the union’s contention that the district’s deficit can be resolved without the dismantling of the Detroit Public Schools and our contract,” Detroit Federation of Teachers President Keith Johnson said in a statement published last week.
The union’s contract with the district said teachers receive more payments when class sizes exceed a certain benchmark. It filed a charge of unfair labor practices in July in an attempt to make sure class sizes were not increased.
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By Tom Harris and Madhav Khandekar
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