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Ten Percent Pay Cut Off the Table for Detroit Teachers

Jack Martin, the emergency manager for Detroit Public Schools, will not proceed with plans to reduce the pay of teachers in that school system by 10 percent.

The possible cuts, part of a deficit-reduction plan that the district had submitted to the state, were criticized by teachers and the state education superintendent, according to the Detroit Free Press.  About 40 teachers and others protested on Monday, the paper said.

In the announcement made Tuesday, Martin said that class sizes also would not be increased as the district had forecasted in June.

The district, which has been under a state-appointed monitor since 2009, indicated at the time that class sizes in the 4th and 5th grades would increase to 38 from 33 students and in the 6th through 12th grades to 43 from 38. Kindergarten classes were expected to stay the same, at 25 students, the paper reported.

The district is trying to get a handle on a massive shortfall: It is expected to end the current fiscal year with a $121.5 million deficit. The Detroit Free Press reported that the failure of a countywide school millage this month, which was expected to raise $14.8 million in revenue that the district had counted on when building its budget, has compounded the problem.

To deal with the deficit, the district will lay off some members of its nonteaching staff, leave hundreds of positions unfilled, and will continue to rely on the proceeds from the sale of properties, according to the newspaper.

On Monday, state Superintendent Mike Flanagan wrote on Twitter that the 10 percent pay cut to Detroit teachers did not have his support.

"I have no line item veto on deficit plan & DPS needed urgent loan," he wrote in one Tweet.

"DPS can make things right," he wrote in another. "Send me a revised deficit plan that has a better solution with no pay cuts to teachers and staff."

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