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What financial crisis? Would-be Detroit teachers say they have hope for city schools

The one theme that ran through the Detroit Public Schools job fair at King High School tonight was hope.

Principals trying to hire teachers at time when the district is in danger of running out of money and teachers committed to working in Detroit schools despite stories of deteriorating conditions that have prompted teachers to call in sick in protest all seem to have hope in common. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“I was born and raised in Detroit and I feel that this is my way to give back … It’s discouraging to hear (about poor conditions in schools) but at the same time you still have to think about the children. It’s like maybe the (teachers) that are fighting and are walking off, their season is up and they need a new burst of energy. They need some new people that’s willing to fight.”
— Katina Bryant, 43, teacher job applicant from Detroit

“I’ve already made contact with prospective candidates, for example, student teachers I’ve had in the past who in spite of everything are still willing and committed to come to DPS … People come to DPS understanding there’s risk involved and that, if you come here, it’s because you’re willing to take on the challenges and that’s kind of the calibre of teachers we want. We want teachers who are flexible, who are willing to kind of shake and move — rope-a-dope if you will — and, you know, you have to be in that frame of mind coming in.”
— Nicholas Brown, Principal, Academy of the Americas

“We feel positive. We see there’s some hope at the end of the tunnel. There’s light.… We’re hopeful that the governor, the House and the Senate will do what’s right.”
–Monique McMurtry, Assistant Principal, Frederick Douglass Academy for Young Men

“They need good teachers and I’m willing to come down and give my best … I’ve heard of ceilings falling in and whatnot but I just want to see it turn around and change.”
— Nick Manvel, 25, recent MSU education grad from Birmingham, applying to DPS elementary schools

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