Detroit 'Sick Out' Leaves 88 Schools Closed

Almost 45,000 students had the day off from school.

According to the Detroit Public School System, a district wide "sick out" left 88 schools closed and almost 45,000 students out of class.

Teachers held the sick-out in protest of run-down buildings, large classroom sizes and issues with teachers' compensation and benefits, stemming from the school district's financial crisis, Detroit Federation of Teachers Administrator Ann Mitchell told ABC News today.

"Due to a high volume of teacher absences, the following schools will be closed today," the DPS wrote on its website before listing the majority of its schools.

Only eight schools remained open.

The teachers are upset about budget cuts and problems with their healthcare packages, but the dilapidated condition of the school buildings was the "tipping point."

"We’re talking about 45 fifth graders in one room," Mitchell said.

The schools' buildings have gone into "total disrepair," Mitchell said, mentioning classrooms festered with rodents, mold and leaky ceilings.

 "Some rooms are so hot because of faulty furnace systems that students can’t think." she said. "While on the other side of school, it’s so cold that they’re keeping their coats on."

"We can't thank them enough for their hard work under very difficult circumstances," Michelle Zdrodowski, executive director of DPS Communications said. "However, students need to be in the classroom learning."

Zdrodowski called today's sick-out a "political stunt" that won't help the district solve its "serious problems."

"Closing schools for reasons such as today and on previous dates further jeopardizes the limited resources the District has available to educate its students and address the many challenges it faces," she said.

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