Detroit Teachers Reach Tentative Deal With District Amid Declining Enrollment

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The Detroit Federation of Teachers (DFT) and the Detroit Public Schools Community District reached a tentative agreement on a new contract, according to DFT.

DFT, which represents more than 3,000 teachers, met with its executive board Monday in order to review the details of the contract. The executive board will vote to approve the contract before it’s brought before the full membership for final approval.

Negotiations for a new contract have been ongoing since March, ahead of a June 30 deadline. The tentative agreement comes at a time of transition for Detroit schools. A new superintendent was just brought on, with the school board approving Nikolai Vitti’s contract Friday.

Detroit public schools were placed under emergency financial management at the behest of Republican Gov. Rick Snyder. The state of Michigan passed a $617 million rescue package to assist the fledgling district.

Declining enrollment, a crumbling tax base and local politics have hampered the notorious school district. Detroit Public Schools regularly makes the list as one of the worst districts in the country.

“The rebuilding of the public school system has to coincide with the rebuilding of the city economically,” Vitti told the Detroit Free Press in an interview Saturday. “The school system can’t be an afterthought.”

The details of the new contact have not been released, but teachers are hoping to receive a pay increase. A full vote on the contract may occur as early as this week.

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