DETROIT (WXYZ) - The Detroit Federation of Teachers prepares to make a move that its president says could cause chaos in the district.
Detroit Public School leaders gave all of its teachers layoff notices in the Spring. It has since recalled more than 2000 educators, and expects to rehire another 500, but 422 will not be called back. The decisions on whom to hire is based on a new state law that allows districts to look past just seniority.
The district says it used an object evaluation, based on categories such as performance and attendance, to determine which teachers should be rehired. The union, however, says it should have been invited to be more involved with the evaluation. It is now preparing to file a lawsuit against Detroit Public Schools. “The issue at hand is not the number (of layoffs),” said Keith Johnson, the union’s president. “It is the manner in which this was done.”
School officials say it chose not to apply for a one-year waiver and used seniority this year because it felt it was a unique opportunity given by the state legislature. “It’s a long process. It’s a complicated process. Has it been absolutely perfect? Of course not,” said Steve Wasko, a district spokesman. “It’s a big process in the first year. Mr. (Roy) Roberts will be the first to say that we need to put systems in place next year so it continues to be smoothe.”
Union leaders are awaiting information on individual layoffs before it files the lawsuit. If it wins the litigation, it will ask that teachers who were unjustly laid off be placed in the district. “It would unfortunately result in a chaotic school year,” Johnson said.
Classes begin on September 4.
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