Nearly all Detroit schools closed after teachers stage ‘sickout’ to protest deteriorating conditions
Nearly all public schools in Detroit will be closed on Wednesday, the city’s school system said, the second time in as many weeks that teachers have called in sick to protest deteriorating conditions.
Detroit public schools reported 86 of its 97 schools will be forced to close due to a high volume of teacher absences. On Jan. 11, 64 of the district’s schools had to shut.
Early Wednesday, the district listed on Facebook the schools that will be shut, while saying that all staff members are expected to report to work as usual. The district said nine schools would be open.
Detroit schools are drowning under $3.5 billion in debt and needs to be rescued by the state of Michigan, according to a report released this month by Citizens Research Council of Michigan, a nonprofit public affairs group.
The district has been under state oversight since 2009 but continues to struggle financially because of falling enrollment and hefty pension and debt obligations.
Teachers have complained about crumbling infrastructure, mold in classrooms, leaky ceilings and too many students per class.
The Detroit News reported that teachers on Wednesday also plan to hold a noon rally and vote on an ongoing program of calling in sick until their demands are met.
(Reporting by Suzannah Gonzales in Chicago and Victoria Cavaliere in Los Angeles; Editing by Alison Williams and Jeffrey Benkoe)