Providence All Teachers Fired. Providence, R.I. teachers will be fired at the end of the current winter public school quarter. The desperate move on the part of the school board will culminate in a vote that insiders believe will favor educator dismissal.
It also means addressing a $40 million deficit. The budget deadline for Providence schools is March 1. The schools issued pink slips to 88 teachers last year in the Providence area because students weren’t meeting standardized test score requirements.
Yet the scale of the Providence School Board’s upcoming move is unprecedented. In accordance with state law, Superintendent of Providence Schools Tom Brady told all teachers and staff via e-mail that the move is a “precautionary action” designed to address the $40 million shortfall in the 2011-2012 budget.
“Since the full extent of the potential cuts to the school budget have yet to be determined, issuing a dismissal letter to all teachers was necessary to give the mayor, the School Board and the district maximum flexibility to consider every cost savings option, including reductions in staff,” said Brady.
The fact that the Providence School Board’s blanket action may not actually dismiss all Providence teachers offered little consolation to teachers’ union leadership.
“This is beyond insane,” said Providence Teachers Union President Steve Smith. “Let’s create the most chaos and the highest level of anxiety in a district where teachers are already under unbelievable stress. Now I know how the United States State Department felt on Dec. 7 , 1941,” the day of the Pearl Harbor bombings.