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Roberts holds public hearing on Detroit schools

Detroit Public Schools emergency manager Roy Roberts says he’s on a mission from the Governor to make the schools work.

Roberts spoke at a public hearing Monday night to discuss next school year’s proposed district budget.

Roberts spoke only briefly about his budget proposal. It calls for cutting more than 850 positions, and all wages by 10-percent.

Roberts then listened silently to concerns from parents, teachers, and other school staff…some of whom took the opportunity to shout at him.

Keith Johnson is President of the Detroit Federation of Teachers. Johnson says he wasn’t happy with Roberts’ reluctance to answer people’s questions.

“At least respond. And don’t just respond to us privately, because this isn’t a private matter. It’s a public matter.”

Johnson also isn’t happy with Roberts’ call to change the teachers’ contract. But he also knows teachers’ protests aren’t likely to be persuasive. 

Under state law, emergency managers such as Roberts can throw out collectively-bargained union contracts if they deem it necessary.


Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Radio in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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