Rhode Island Teacher Pink Slips – Good? Bad?

It’s driving me absolutely crazy. I’m hearing all these teachers, American Federation of Teachers (AFT) reps, reading blog comments, and even hearing hard news reports get the Rhode Island teacher situation WRONG. From the left, we’re hearing it all -on Fox News this morning they played a video of some (clearly uninformed) teacher saying that she felt like “mourning the death of an innocent.” The other comments were equally laden with hyperbole. From the right we’re hearing how it is a budget issue and the Governor needs the maximum flexibility to craft the budget for next year.

Nobody is explaining what this is!

The Providence School Board sent pink slips to some 2,000 teachers this week. That much is true. Why? Because they had to. Contractually, if a teacher is to be terminated or laid off, she must be notified by March 1, some 7 months before the start of the next school year.

The Providence school budget next year is $308 million. That is some $40 million more than they have to spend. So the mayor and school board must make some changes, either in program funding, salaries and benefits, and yes, possibly teacher headcount. So while the school board figures out how to close the $40 million gap, time is passing by. If March 1 comes and no teacher is given a lay off notice, no teacher can be laid off at all, it would be illegal.

If the School Board need to lay off ANYBODY – even a single teacher – it must have issued the notice to that teacher by March 1.

Providence Mayor, Angel Taveras, a Democrat by the way, has said, “An overwhelming majority will be rehired.” That doesn’t stop teachers and union thugs from distorting the issue. Randi Weingarten, president of the national American Federation of Teachers, which represents the city’s teachers said:

“A mass firing, announced in the middle of a school year, does not help solve a budget problem, the purported reason, but, rather, disrupts the education of all students and the entire community,” she said in a statement. “Mass firings, whether in one school or an entire district, are not fiscally or educationally sound.”

Either Ms. Weingarten either has no understanding of what is happening in Providence, or she does and she is lying about what is happening.  So, like we often find with liberals, they are either inept or liars.  I mean really, you be the judge, how does Ms. Weingarten’s comment jive with reality?  It doesn’t.

Ms Weingarten’s comments are a perfect example of why Democrats, Unions, and the President will lose the battle as it exists in Wisconsin, Ohio, Rhode Island and elsewhere.  They’re going to lose big.  There is too much information available for people to fall for the lies that power-hungry bureaucrats tell.

We know the truth.

Ms. Weingarten should be removed from her post for incompetence or for violating ethical standards.

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