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Massive Teacher Protest Shutters Detroit Schools

  • VOA News

Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, May 2, 2016.

Detroit teachers march outside the district headquarters in Detroit, Michigan, May 2, 2016.

Nearly every public school in Detroit, Michigan, was closed Monday after more than 1,500 teachers called in sick, angered that they may not get paid over the summer.

Like the city itself, Detroit schools are struggling financially. Many of the buildings are reported to be in shambles, with crumbling floors and ceilings, and rodents skittering across the classrooms.

The state had approved $47.8 million in emergency money in March, but that amount only pays the district's bills through June 30. Detroit Schools also would be unable to fund summer school or special education programs after June 30.

The state Legislature is debating a $720 million restructuring plan that would pay off the district's massive debt.

Michigan Governor Rick Snyder says the teacher sick-out — which gave nearly 45,000 schoolchildren the day off — was not a constructive move, but he urged state lawmakers to work out a plan by the end of the month.

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