Detroit Public Schools expect to cut employee pay 10 percent - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Detroit Public Schools expect to cut employee pay 10 percent

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Waseana Ballard has been a teacher in the Detroit Public Schools for 16 years and says she has taken a pay cut every year.

Come October 1, Ballard and thousands of other Detroit Public Schools teachers and employees will likely take another one, if the state approves its deficit elimination plan.
 
Employee salaries would be cut by 10 percent as DPS looks to cut costs after voters rejected a tax hike. Because of that, the district lost out on about $15 million dollars.

"Three years there was a 10 percent pay cut imposed upon them," says Keith Johnson, Detroit Federation of Teachers. "That was supposed to put the district on a path of fiscal solvency. You cannot cut your way to prosperity."

DPS is working to boost enrollment. It was just under $50,000 the last school year and could drop to $47,000  this coming year.

On top of the millions it lost out on at the polls, the district is trying to pare down a $127 million deficit.

Also a part of the deficit elimination plan is the closing of 24 school buildings through 2019. Right now there are more vacant shuttered school buildings than there are open.

DPS says it's trying to find buyers and leasers for its empty buildings and since 2009 has generated $19 million after doing so.

But for teachers like Ballard, a single mom with a masters degree who spends her own money to invest in her classroom and her students at Spain Elementary, the constant cost cutting is killing morale and driving good teachers out of Detroit.

"You're cutting my pay," Ballard says. "But you're expecting me to work more and much harder in the classroom and it's just impossible."

DPS has been under state control for five years.

The Department of Education will decide on the district's cost cutting plan in a few weeks.
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