APRI Pledges Its Support for AFT Detroit
DETROIT—Statement from the A. Philip Randolph Institute board of directors on the events taking place in the Detroit public school system:
“For nearly a decade, the students, families, educators and school-related staff of the Detroit public school system have been forced to deal with dismal conditions, disastrous budget cuts and poor administration. What makes this even more concerning for us is the lack of respect for educators and their unions in Detroit—the birthplace of the modern-day labor movement.
“The students, families and educators of Detroit have endured enough. The students have been forced to learn in overcrowded, under-resourced classrooms. Lansing lawmakers have ignored the parents and families. And educators have been subjected to pay cuts, frozen pay steps, increased healthcare costs and greater responsibility. As a result, the city of Detroit and its students are suffering from a massive loss of talented educators who are fleeing Detroit’s public schools to work in other districts or professions. This growing teacher shortage is an ever-widening crisis that offers undeniable evidence that educators are reaching the breaking point where they can no longer afford to teach in Detroit’s public schools.
“We as a nation have the collective responsibility to ensure that every child has access to a high-quality neighborhood public school—a place where students get the education they deserve and need to succeed, and where educators are respected and well-supported. And that is why we are standing in solidarity with our brothers and sisters of the Detroit Federation of Teachers, the Detroit Association of Educational Office Employees and the Detroit Federation of Paraprofessionals.
“Today, we urge the Detroit Public Schools Community District to do the right thing by students and those who educate them—bargain fair contracts that move the entire city of Detroit forward.”