Number of the Day

5,466: The number of unionized public school teachers in Detroit who will be receiving layoff notices. That, by the way, is all of them: "It's unlikely that every layoff notice will result in actual layoffs, but under the district's union contract they must notify teachers who face potential job losses."
Detroit's public school system is facing a steep $327 million budget deficit that's been aggravated by slipping enrollment [Reuters reported a city population decline of 25% in the last year alone] and decreased state investment. The district-wide layoff announcement is but one of the emergency steps [Robert Bobb, the emergency financial manager appointed to address Detroit's struggling public school system, has] taken to deal with the financial emergency. Back in February Bobb ordered half the district's schools shut down. He later announced that 41 of those schools would become charter schools. [Charters are publicly funded but independently run schools whose faculty are typically not unionized.]

Bobb's been shutting down schools for two years in a row, though. In 2010 he shut down 45 of the district's then-179 school system. Back in 2005 before Bobb was hired Detroit had to shut down 34 schools to deal with what was then a $200 million budget deficit. Bobb's Feburary plan approved consolidating schools and class sizes of up to 60 students.
Class sizes of up to 60 students? Holy Maude.

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