Rhode Island City Issues Layoff Notices to All Teachers
PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The financially troubled city of Providence on Tuesday issued layoff notices to all its nearly 2,000 teachers because city officials say they must make an unknown number of cuts in the budget, and they want “maximum flexibility.”
State law requires school departments to notify teachers by March 1 if they will be laid off the following school year. The notices do not mean that the teachers will lose their jobs, just that they could at the end of the year.
School Superintendent Tom Brady on Tuesday wrote to teachers that the school budget outline for the next academic year is dire, with a projected deficit of nearly $40 million.
Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith told The Providence Journal the decision was “beyond insane” and creates chaos and anxiety among teachers.
The news for teachers just keeps getting better…
In this case, state law is part of the problem. By requiring that teachers who might be laid off must be notified by March 1st, the law forces the school board to either make a difficult decision now, or do what they did and cover their read ends.
My guess is that the law was originally inteded to help protect teacehrs from sudden layoffs and insecurity about the following year. But played this way, it actually causes the reverse, with 2,000 teachers wondering when the pink slip is actually coming.