- Associated Press - Sunday, January 10, 2016

DETROIT (AP) - Parents of students in the Detroit Public Schools were warned Sunday by the district that a number of buildings might be closed due to ongoing sick-outs by some teachers.

Closing alerts are expected to be issued no later than 6 a.m. Monday, the district said. Many teachers in Detroit are dissatisfied with their pay and the poor finances of the district, which is run by a state-appointed emergency manager. Gov. Rick Snyder wants to pay off the debt and create a new district, but he lacks support so far in the Legislature.

“It is our expectation that DPS schools will be closed … due to the continuation of the rolling strikes by DPS teachers,” former school board president Steve Conn, who currently leads the Detroit teachers’ Strike to Win Committee, said in a release Sunday. “We advise the DPS emergency manager to begin notifying the public immediately, so that parents can have adequate advance warning.”

Some schools were closed last week because of teacher absences. East English Village Preparatory Academy and Mann Learning Community were affected Friday. King and Renaissance high schools were closed Thursday, and Cass Tech High was closed earlier last week.

More sick-outs occurred last month.

The Detroit district is Michigan’s largest and has been under continuous state oversight for nearly seven years. Snyder has called for the state to commit $715 million over a decade to address its extraordinary debt that’s now being repaid with operating funds.

Public schools receive state funding for each student enrolled. The district’s enrollment was once well above 100,000 students, but now it’s about 46,000.

“It’s clear that teachers are feeling an overwhelming sense of frustration over the challenges that they and all DPS employees face as they do their jobs each day,” emergency manager Darnell Earley said Sunday. “We understand and share their frustration. However, given the reality of the district’s financial distress, it is becoming clearer every day that the only way that we are going to be able to address these serious issues in any way is through an investment in DPS by the Michigan Legislature.”

Earley added that “obtaining that support becomes more challenging with each closure of a school due to a teacher sick-out.”

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