Saturday, March 26, 2011

Financial Martial Law Looming for 150 Michigan School Districts

The Daily Censored reports that over 150 school districts and charter schools in Michigan are currently on the verge of going broke, along with 43 others that are already going bust. Governor Rick Snyder is proposing budget cuts of $470 per student, which should only make matters worse. Additionally, with the state’s new Financial Martial Law rule, he will be able to dissolve the school boards of these districts and impose private financial managers who are unaccountable to parents and teachers, and who can shred existing contracts with teachers and support staff, and replace employees with low paid scabs.

David Martell, executive director of Michigan School Business Officials, said that the threat of a financial manager could be a strong bargaining chip where negotiations with unions are going on, according to The Detroit Free Press.

Of course it is a strong bargaining chip. This is precisely the point: Threaten to crush the unions outright or force them to give up so much that their contracts are virtually meaningless. A financial manager means the elimination of existing contracts, union protections, and salaries. If Michigan’s unions do not immediately start taking pre-emptive actions, it will be too late. Unfortunately, what we are more likely to see is a repeat of Wisconsin, with the union leaders making onerous pay and benefits concessions in order to preserve collective bargaining and automatic dues check off rules.

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