Providence: Firing 2,000 teachers just in case. Flexibility or farce?

The mass firing of  2,000 teachers in Providence is getting a lot of press attention and clearly upset the teachers who received the notices. But the school board in the Rhode Island capitol is  contending that it is only following the law requiring notification of possible job layoffs for the next school year by March 1.

Because the city does not yet know the scope of layoffs, it covered its bases by sending notices to all teachers seeking what it describes as “maximum flexibility” in coping with its budget melt down.

But the notices have created maximum anxiety. Many of the teachers will have their jobs in 2011-2012, but the tactic is garnering criticism. And I can understand as I would also be panicked if I received an official notice that I was losing my job, even if I was assured it was procedural maneuver.

Like every city, Providence is in budget free fall. It’s almost gone through its reserves and is facing massive cuts.

Still, teachers ask why they have to be the sacrificial lambs. In budget crunches, schools are a natural place to look for for cuts as they cost a lot.  I still can’t get over that Georgia chose to remedy its gas shortage a few years ago by shuttering schools for two days. We were the only state to do so, and I think it communicated a lot about the value placed on education here.

(I am off to UGA where the Black Law Student Association at UGA Law is creating a reenactment of the trial in which UGA became desegregated. I am on a panel afterward, but am eager to see the reenactment. I have been reading all week about Hamilton Holmes and Charlayne Hunter-Gault who, in 1961, became the first African-American students at UGA. I have heard Hunter-Gault speak in the past and am in awe of the courage she and Holmes showed as young students facing angry mobs and an anti-integration governor and Legislature. Hurray for activist judges who forced Georgia and UGA to do what it should have done decades earlier. )

Here is the statement by Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, on the Providence mess:

Providence city officials’ sudden announcement firing every single Providence teacher—close to 2,000 people—without apparent regard to its effect or even consideration of the teachers’ performance, is shocking. What makes this even more stunning is that the district and the Providence Teachers Union have been working collaboratively on a groundbreaking, nationally recognized school transformation model. 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. The mayor claims he needs flexibility. We looked up “flexibility” in the dictionary, and it does not mean destabilizing education for all students in Providence or taking away workers’ voice or rights.

Mass firings, whether in one school or an entire district, are not fiscally or educationally sound. The mayor and school superintendent owe it to the community and to the students and teachers in Providence to resolve whatever problem they’re dealing with, not by fiat, but by working in a collaborative way. For the past two years, that’s what they have been doing when it comes to work on improving low-performing schools, developing an innovative hiring process and revamping the teacher evaluation system.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog.

69 comments Add your comment

Lee

February 25th, 2011
8:48 am

I expect equal time for the WHITE Law Student Association. Oh yeah, that’s right. That would be “racist”.

Lee

February 25th, 2011
8:51 am

On a similar note, here is the BLACK Student Association at Alabama State reinacting peaceful, non-violent civil rights marches.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iJnjZmgALh8

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
8:51 am

@Lee, Between 1785 and 1961, the entire campus was the white student association.
Maureen

Dr NO

February 25th, 2011
9:02 am

2000 teachers receive a one year notice their jobs may be gone. Cry me a river.

Fairness for All

February 25th, 2011
9:05 am

and i thought the article was about the providence teachers.. the elected officials in providence, wisconsin, pa., and n.j. all seem to be trying to do their jobs to rein in government spending. simply put education needs to do more with less. it has become a black hole for taxpayer dollars with administration and politicians alike trying to figure out how to spend more money on it. it can and will eventually be done better and for less money. it’s a joke how much money is paid to school administrators now. the AJC has done an excellent job on documenting this fact and i would love to see Georgia follow the NJ and Pa role models of trying to limit superintendent pay to that of the Governor. I would include all school administration in that as well (not just superintendents). Courage indeed–enjoy your trip.

mark

February 25th, 2011
9:05 am

I wonder how many will return? I can’t wait to see what Cobb Co will do. Remember they fired 500, but hired some of them back with reserve money. That money is gone. If I was threatened with being fired, i would find a new job/career. No wonder we have a shortage of math and science teachers. Good luck America.

No More Cuts!

February 25th, 2011
9:06 am

The teachers should go on strike in Providence just like Wisconsin to get the benefits and money they want. They are way underpaid and the government will only give them more money if they call a long strike.

Dr NO

February 25th, 2011
9:08 am

Agreed “No more Cuts” and if the do go on strike everyone of them should be fired immediately then possibly hired back at a lower salary.

Booklover

February 25th, 2011
9:14 am

@Dr. No, they are not getting a one year (12-month) notice of firings, but please don’t let that dim your obvious rancor toward teachers :P

When Maureen says “year,” she means “school year.” By March 1, the district has to notify teachers if they will not have a paycheck and a job after the summer so that the teachers have time to find other teaching jobs. Remember, teachers essentially only get hired once a year, and most schools do their hiring from January-April.

If a teacher doesn’t have a job for next school year lined up by May, s/he probably won’t be able to find one, especially in this economy.

Teachers have to sign a letter of intent typically by February 1st, so that advance notice works both ways.

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
9:17 am

@Book. I just went back to the entry and wrote “school year.”
Maureen

JOnathon

February 25th, 2011
9:20 am

Hi Maureen.

Please don’t compare the mess in Providence to what is happening in Wisconsin. RI is much different. The graduation rate in Providence is 67% a year. The average teacher in Providence takes 2 weeks of sick leave a year. The City of Providence (300,000 people) has a budget deficit of $140 million, which they borrowed $50 million to plug, mandatory layoffs for non-union employees, and are still $40 mil short. The Providence school enrollment has declined while teacher hiring has increased. RI has the largest pension deficit in the United States. There is a $5 billion dollar shortfall for a state with 900,000 people (See http://www.pbs.org, search RI pension).

Wisconsin is a case where Republicans are trying to take advantage of the Unions and the middle class. RI is a case where the Unions have taken advantage of all the residents in the state.

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
9:29 am

@Jonathon, I don’t think the issue here is whether Providence compares to Wisconsin, but what this sort of move does to morale. In Cobb County, very strong science teachers were among those fired and then offered their jobs back. At least two that I know if did not come back. And the two were fantastic teachers.
I think there are consequences to these sorts of political decisions.
Also, the 67 grad rate percent in Providence may end up looking good to those of us in Georgia where the new federal formula to count dropouts may plunge our 80. 2 percent grad rate down to 64 percent.
Maureen

Dr. John Trotter

February 25th, 2011
9:36 am

Holmes and Hunter-Gault, if I am not mistaken, were graduates of Atlanta’s Henry McNeil Turner High School. For the record, Gladys Knight, I think, also graduated there. It is now Turner Middle School. Lee, at Mercer Law School, I joined the Black Law Students Association…as well as the College Republicans. At a meeting of the latter, I first met Sonny Perdue and asked him if he ever thought about running for governor. He had on an Hawaiian-type shirt. He said that he had been thinking about it. I also attended meetings of the Federalist Club. Instead of reacting, just be open to others’ ideas and concerns. I even started a new group in law school (unofficial but real; we did not seek the imprimatur of the law school), MALUM. The Macon Association of Lawfully Unintimidated Men. The “M” in MALUM (a word which means “bad” in Latin) stood for Nathaniel Macon, not the of City of Macon. But, the city was named for him. He was the only American who was both the U. S. Speaker of the House and Speaker Pro Tempore of the Senate. (I hope that I spelled that correctly.) Macon was, as described by Thomas Jefferson, “the last Roman.” He was a bad dude…politically. He was also the brother to my fifth great grandmother, Ann Hunt Macon Alston.

With MALUM, we had a blast! We ended up having more law outlines than any group in law school. In fact, I think that I truly became the Outline Pimp of the Law School. We even had lady law students (how politically incorrect — yes!) who wanted to be recognized as “Sweethearts of MALUM” (even more politically incorrect!). I was just amazed when I first matriculated to law school at 47 years of age how the young guys were so intimidated by some of the aggressive female students in class. They just cowered to them in light of the prevailing politically correct atmosphere in today’s academe. Well, you guys know that this went over with me like the proverbial t_rd in the punch bowl. Lee, we had a blast with MALUM! We produced a law review all three years…very popular. Not arid and dry like the regular law reviews at all law schools. Ours had beautiful photos, had all of the latest gossip, and even some real heads up material for future lawyers. I have MALUM brothers and sisters all of the country now. So, Lee, BALSA (Black Law Student Association) or MALUM (Macon Association of Legally Unintimidated Men) or the women’s group (there was one of those too)…don’t worry. Be happy and be open others! Life is too short to be bitter about any group.

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
9:38 am

@Dr. Trotter, They were Turner grads. And top students.
Maureen

Lee

February 25th, 2011
9:44 am

@Maureen, so, UGA has been integrated for 50 years. But yet, you see nothing wrong with a university sanctioned organization that by definition, discriminates against whites.

Selective morality?

DougH

February 25th, 2011
9:47 am

The White Ethnicity Law Occupation School Student Association (WELOSS) should have equal time. But they should have to pay the same price. Perhaps they (as a race) could be banned from undergrad and law school for the next four years because of the color of their skin and have mobs jeer and shout at them when they attempt to enter. Then after being admitted they should have to run the gauntlet of professors that don’t believe that they belong there. Then, and only then, having graduated should their children and grandchildren be allowed to have WELOSS; and then they can get equal time to talk of the horrors of those white students that preceded them and the protections that they are now bonding together to keep in place.

JOnathon

February 25th, 2011
9:50 am

Dear Maureen,

The state is beyond the concern of moral. Look at it this way, how much do you earn and how much is your house or apt worth? RI has a state income tax of 5%, so lets say you earn $60k a year, after federal taxes you take home $45k, then you subtract RI income tax, that is another $3k. Lets say you have a condo worth $150k. The property tax rate in most RI counties is 4% the assessed value, or for you $6,000.00 a year. So someone making $60k, takes home $38k, and still has to pay for insurance and a mortgage and the expenses of life. A house assessed at $315 k has annual property taxes of $12,800.00

The tax rate is beyond high, so the raise taxes argument is out the window. Also, unlike GA, RI public school teachers get paid much higher. They start at $45k with only a “teaching degree.” Department heads make $90-$110k, Principles make $150k. As a teacher you get a full retirement at your last annual salary which vests in full after 20 years. After 10 years you and your family is covered by health insurance for life, with no contribution. After you retire, you get a 3.5% annual COLA increase.

Also hiring in the RI public school system is notorious for not being merrit based. Its all about who you know. If your mother or sibling is already a teacher, there is a 200% greater chance you will be hired compared with someone without any connections.

The fight against the RI teachers unions, firefighter unions, and police unions has been building for 20 years. It is not related to Wisconsin, or the tea baggers. It is coming out now because there will not be another stimulus, and the state has no more money.

Sorry for the embellished response. I come from a family of two teachers (my father is a law professor, and my mother a kindergarten teacher) I want people to know the facts before they start taking sides

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
9:51 am

Jonathon, Feel free to write as long as you want and share facts. We need equal time against all the bombast, mine included.
Maureen

Lee

February 25th, 2011
9:52 am

@Trotter, bitter? No. I just enjoy pointing out the many pathologies of political correctness.

Dr NO

February 25th, 2011
9:55 am

@Dr. No, they are not getting a one year (12-month) notice of firings, but please don’t let that dim your obvious rancor toward teachers

Well it just goes to show ya cant win em all. :(

Dr. John Trotter

February 25th, 2011
10:22 am

Lee, I am no fan of political correctness, but I am all for people organizing around interests, concerns, likes, dislikes, etc. I guess that I am just an ‘organizer.’ In fact, when I worked for GAE many years ago, that was my title (”Organizer”). At the time, I was the only Organizer on staff. I “organized” classroom educators around common interests and concerns. We started the Metro Association of Classroom Educators (MACE) in 1995. Obviously, our membership now extends beyond the “Metro” area. Ha!

Organizing can be lots of fun. This is why I have no problem with BALSA. No problem at all. In fact, I joined. Has lots of fun…just like we had lots of fun with MALUM. I have no problem with the Sons of Confederate Veterans. I love history, and I love to study about the U. S. Civil War. I have never joined this group, but I could. My great, great grandfather was a leading light in Morgan’s Raiders. In fact, he was Chief of Staff to General John Morgan and was in about 100 battles and skirmishes. Some would frown on me if I joined the Sons of Confederate Veterans, but I don’t care. Where I draw the line is when one groups advocates taking advantage of another group as far as humanity is concern. Seeking harm, embarrassment, etc., to others is the line I draw. I really get fired up when it comes to bullies, and most bullies wear nice Brooks Brother suits, eat at nice restaurants, and smile in your face. Corporate bullies (like superintendents, principals, SACS, etc.) are the worst. They have this appearance of decency and propriety but do things which really harm people.

I am just writing away today. Stream of consciousness, baby! Let me stop and get ready for a trip to Mississippi. That’s right…from Rio de Janeiro to the beautiful state of Mississippi! Life is more fun than a barrel of monkies!

Maureen…Have fun in the Classic City today. My old stomping grounds. Drop by Gyro’s (on Broad) and enjoy some fantastic Greek food! The kids who serve the food have the most interesting tatoos and nose rings, and I am usually the only person there in a tie, but the food is delicious. I’ve been eating there about three decades!

Dr. John Trotter

February 25th, 2011
10:25 am

Lee, last thing. I just read a previous post by you. You are misinformed. BALSA does not discriminate against whites or any other group. BALSA welcomed me with open arms…and I am just a light skin Cracka! Ha!

Dr. John Trotter

February 25th, 2011
10:30 am

Please forgive the typo in the 10:22 entry.

RC Karrh Jr.

February 25th, 2011
10:35 am

Maureen:

You are the sweetest little socialist that I love to read, but your food of thought in this column is lacking quality and style. I think that you should return to UGA and participate in a creative Novel writing seminar by Michael Garrett over in the continuing education department. I do believe it might be more productive than reenacting the past(even though I think it sort of twisted just like those Civil war reenactments), and then maybe you might be able to live for the future. As for the teachers in Providence, they should have to compete each year for their positions.

Sincerely your friend,

RC

Maureen Downey

February 25th, 2011
10:40 am

@RC, I don’t mind competition, but how does a mass layoff notification foster competition? The issue here isn’t hiring practices. These folks already have jobs.
I have no idea what capitalist enterprise you work for, but I can assure you that all the brokers on Wall Street would be taking to the streets if their companies chose to send all of them pink slips today with the explanation that it was simply to put them on notice and that not all would be fired. Just some.
The question that I would assume you would ask: Is this good business practice? Those notices went to the best and worst teachers. Is that anyway to keep your producers?
Maureen
(And no one has ever called me sweet after age 3. So, I appreciate that.)

Dr. John Trotter

February 25th, 2011
10:49 am

Maureen: I find you to be even-handed most always. A little naive about the sinister ways of some school administrators but you are having your eyes opened every day. I have no complaints…but when I do, you hear them, right?! Ha! You have a thankless job, and I want to say that you are doing a fantastic job with all of us rascals on this blog.

RC: Competing each year, heh? Perhaps no problem if the teachers could be assured of fair, objective, and even-keeled evaluators, but they can’t. Hence, job protection measures against those who would abuse the process to get rid of the teachers who won’t kiss their proverbial posteriors. I see it every day. At the MACE Office last night, a teacher came for an appointment. She was not a member. She had a strong and vivacious personality. Very competent and has worked for many APS and Clayton administrators through the years, but the last principal has been on the job for just two months. Yes. Two months, and she wants to non-renew this teachers. I knew exactly the problem. This teacher’s personality is strong. It has nothing to do with “merit.” RC, this is the problem.

Luke

February 25th, 2011
11:10 am

Sadly, union contracts don’t allow there to be firings based on merit and up to here recently, those who haven’t warmed a chair long enough to get “tenure” were always first on the chopping block, regardless of their merit. It is sad that these teachers who don’t have tenure are the ones who are usually right out of school, who have motivation and zeal for education, and who haven’t become apathetic and complacent.

Why should anyone be paid just because they have warmed a chair for X amount of years? We don’t see this in a free market or in the private sector, where if you don’t provide quality results… you don’t get to keep your job.

ptumember

February 25th, 2011
11:17 am

I am one of those teachers that was fired
let me explain what happened:
This has nothing to do with our salaries or benefits at all. We also don’t strike, but have made a picket line on our own time. Striking is illegal.

Okay I wrote this yesterday so I copied and pasted it for you all to have a better understanding of the situation.

Well the Providence School Department in RI today just voted 4 to 3 to FIRE all 1926 teachers so they can skirt around seniority issues (as stated by the superintendent in a meeting and he alludes to it in one of the videos I saw, but cannot remember which one) because there is a 40 million dollar deficit in the education budget. Instead of laying off the teachers so they could have recall rights when the school board and mayor figure out what schools they are closing, they fired them all so they would have no rights and could cut people that have dedicated themselves to this school dept, ie, the senior teachers. These are teachers who have been teaching 10 yrs or more. Here is the huge problem:
They are closing schools. If you are at a school that is not being closed, your termination will be rescinded. If you are at a school that is closed, you are out of luck. Now, let’s say you are a teacher of 15 years in the system and really work but your school gets closed. You get fired. Now Joe Schmoe at a school that stays opened has been teaching for 13 years but really just can’t control the kids and is not such a great teacher. He stays. If they did it by lay offs, the school would close and you would stay and maybe bump him. Seniority is not perfect, but neither is their system. They rehire their favorites as they just did on the east side of our city.
The mayor is stating he is taking these actions because he needs to close the deficit which is understandable, and it is a law to have to notify teachers by March 1st they will be laid off/terminated. If the teachers were laid off, they would have recall rights if they were needed back. Since they were all terminated, there are no recall rights and things like I stated above are definitely going to happen. Our superintendent when question why terminations instead of lay offs stated that he could bypass the seniority rights and rehire less senior teachers. Also it is law that a teacher needs to be fired because of just cause… they are firing these teachers because of a budget deficit and they want flexibility.
People cannot retire because they were terminated and won’t get their health care. People who look for new jobs in new school depts will have trouble because a question on the app is if you have ever been terminated or fired from your teaching job, not to mention you are too expensive if you are at top step with a master’s. A budget deficit and wanting flexibility is not just cause to fire someone, but yet our mayor just did it to 1926 teachers to follow a law of notifying us before march 1st. The teachers pleaded for lay offs instead of terminations, but they terminated us anyway.

FYI Our school board is appointed by the mayor
Also our Union President is an idiot…when he speaks, I cringe. He equated this to Pearl Harbor. I get the sneak attack reference, but really??? We are all alive….That comment just made it worse!

http://www.ehow.com/facts_6115598_unlawful-termination-teacher_.html?fb_ref=like&fb_source=profile_oneline

Also Dr Trotter, you couldn’t be more correct!!!!!! Also students are placed into our classrooms, and my 10th grade math classroom on a 2nd grade math to 4th grade level. My pay should be based on how well those students perform? They are 6 to 8 grade levels behind!!! The system just keeps moving them regardless if they fail.

Martina

February 25th, 2011
11:23 am

I keep seeing the phrase “teachers just need to learn to do more with less”. My budget for the upcoming school year (same as last) is $50. And this has to be spent off a limited list of office-supply type things, not $50 to spend on what I actually need in the classroom. I know a lot of money goes into education, but believe me, the classroom teachers are not seeing it!

JOnathon

February 25th, 2011
11:40 am

I have no sympathy for the system of seniority. It runs counter to the principle of meritocracy which our country is based on. Lets forget about the greedy moguls and CEO’s on WallStreet, they don’t live or work in RI, they aren’t the cause of RI’s problems.

ptumember: you illustrate an example of an ineffective new teacher vs. an effective teacher with more experience. I went to high school in RI. I found overwhelming evidence that the longer the teachers taught, the worse they were at it (at least at Rogers High School). The more jaded and cynical they became. Most of the older teachers in the RI system don’t have advanced degrees, when you became a teacher in the 80s there wasn’t any competition, now there is a lot of competition.

ptumember: how do you address the union attacks on Rhode Island’s immigrant population?? After the Central Falls teachers were fired (deservedly, a high school with a 42% graduation rate) they blamed “illegal immigrants” for making the schools fail. All of the sudden, ever RI high school is swamped with “stupid” immigrants who can”t speak english. The unions attack against RI’s immigrant community has been one of the most despicable acts I have ever seen in a state where people cherish their education, liberalism, and the legacy of JFK and civil rights in America.

Finally, I have no sympathy for “how difficult it would be to find another job teaching” The current job market is extremely hard for everyone. I had to leave the city I went to grad school in, and move 4 hours into a small town in the middle of nowhere, thats life

catlady

February 25th, 2011
11:46 am

Ah, ptumember, obviously you have not learned that the KIDS don’t fail. Their TEACHERS fail.

Luke

February 25th, 2011
11:53 am

@Martina…. That’s another apart of the problem. So much money is tied up in the adminstration that the teachers and the class get the shaft.

In Huntsville, we are being destroyed by both the AEA and poor management. The superintendent makes $197k/yr… the school board is facing a $20M+ defict… and what’s their answer… lay off teachers. Since last year they have supposedly decided not to renew the Superindent’s contract, but not until after her mismanagement of funds caused massive shortages across the board.

Huntsville School Board is elected, which is not ideal in my opinion. Kids and thier futures should not be pawns in a political back and forth.

So their solution to this is… let her retire in 2012. Not fire her… just let her ride out her contract. Here’s what the are doing…

Keeping her on staff ($197k/yr)
Bringing in a consultant to help her make decisions ($1200/wk)
Hiring a head hunter firm to replace her ($24k)

My response to this… how many teacher’s would this save if the money was used elsewhere? I’m counting roughly 7.

Our entire education system is in a state of freefall. Teachers who care more about summers off with pay than educating youth, who don’t want their job tied to how well they do their job, but rather what’s “entitled” to them as an employee. Unions who manipulate politics and who encourage behaviors like “sick outs”, whose victims are not legislatures, but the children they are charged to educate. Piss poor management who have no grasp on fiscal accountability, who think we should just raise taxes instead of cutting out pointless administration jobs.

The first step is to remove the unions and make our schools a free market, where quality is paid for and you can be easily fired for being a shoddy teacher. Once teachers are held to standards comparative to the private sector workforce, we will then see the wheat being seperated from the chaff.

RC Karrh Jr.

February 25th, 2011
12:06 pm

Competition is the only answer, and financially it is viable. The poor ‘ptumember,’ for who has lost his job, can pick up and move. Our country is a very open an amicable society. He or she should just disposed of those RI assets and move to where next job opening happens to be located. As far as I can tell, Alaska has several openings, and I do believe that some resourceful educator from Providence should be able to qualify.

Over my lifetime, I have worked in Atlanta, Chattanooga, Washington, Chicago ,and finally Savannah. These solid citizen educators can now live the same lifestyle. Our education work force should just as mobile as private sector force.

@ Dr. Trotter: The teacher should have been fired for sheer arrogance. Here in Ga. there are plenty of new college graduates that want those jobs.

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Booklover

February 25th, 2011
2:00 pm

Working in K-12 public education is so completely different from working in the private sector.

And yes, I’ve done both, thank you.

Those of you equating the two are demonstrating your ignorance. Please read this: http://www.bridges4kids.org/Inspiration/Vollmer1-03.html

In short, in the private sector, businesses choose their raw materials and have much more control over “output” than schools have over the lives of our students.

Booklover

February 25th, 2011
2:02 pm

@ RC Karrh
I’ve taught in Illinois, Louisiana, Augusta, Savannah, and a certain large Asian city that will go unnamed because that would make my identity rather easy to acertain for those who might know me. In those places, I’ve worked with teachers who’ve taught on every continent! So please, stop with your generalizations.

If your industry ONLY hired 3 months out of the year, THEN your analogy would have some weight.

aghast

February 25th, 2011
2:33 pm

cry me a river?? this is another step in crushing unions. this along with the situations in the midwest are going to give fat cat business men the right to decide how many kids to stuff in a classroom, what really is necessary to teach in the schools. is that what you really want? like it or not-teachers get crapped on just like the rest of the working world-we have every right to stand up and fight for our rights as workers and civil servants of YOUR CHILDREN. why don’t you step the line and ask some of these politicians if working a part time job with full time money and benefits FOR LIFE is really the kind of example they want to be setting when they are trimming up an already dry budget.

HS Public Teacher

February 25th, 2011
2:46 pm

Teachers in Georgia have been doing “more with less” for over a decade. During these republican years in our State, we have had little (often frozen) pay increases (to include cost-of-living increases) even during the so-called “good” years before the recession.

Now, you are asking teachers to do “more with less???” Are you kidding me?

No wonder no one wants to teach in Georgia!

RC Karrh Jr.

February 25th, 2011
3:26 pm

@ Booklover :

Your definitely an inspiration, and I’m glad to see you have become mobile member of the workforce. Now tell me, after completing your contracted year of 160 to180 days, What did you do the rest of 265 days? Vacation (Party, Party). As for those teachers that you believe have taught with all over the world, I think you will find those teachers to be very few. Most educators are not like Mr. Holland, but emulate Mr. and Mrs Jones from Caddy Shack. My Tax dollars fund your vacation every year! You survive only at taxpayers discretion. Your paycheck is nothing more than trans-shipped funds from the taxpayers coffers to your paycheck. Wake up, you might imply that you provide local taxes for the local counties, but in reality its a simple redistribution of gross state dollars. If I don’t provide jobs and I don’t produce a tangible good that circle of income that credit yourself as member doesn’t exist. I held the seem disrespect for University Professors that can’t produce outside of Academia.
Wake up again, when my sales go down, your income is going too.

@ HS Public Teacher , And as far as applications in Bryan, Effingham, Bulloch, and Emanual counties, there is an access of 300 to 400 per every open position. I also understand the same is for Clarke, Hall, and Oconee,

Lee

February 25th, 2011
3:47 pm

Sorry Trotter, but just because they will allow a white to join the Black Law Student Association and advocate for their causes such as “more black law professors” does not make it non-discriminatory.

Let someone go to the university and petition for a White Law Student Association and see what happens.

Booklover

February 25th, 2011
4:50 pm

@RC Karrh–
And I spend my days educating YOUR children and the youngsters who will fund YOUR social security and the young people who YOUR company needs to hire in order to make profits. Those same young people will go out into the world, get jobs, and buy whatever it is that YOUR company makes. If you think any of this is possible without public educators, you’re an absolute moron.

I am soooo tired of you “private sector business people” who claim that teachers only exist because of taxpayers and that we “produce” nothing of value. If that’s true, then let’s close all the public schools. Every last one! Close ‘em all!

What are you going to do with the swarms of small children who need supervision every day? Who will teach them to read and write? Who will teach them how our government works? Are YOU going to give up your job to do that for FREE? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

And don’t even get me started on what would happen to kids aged 13-18 if taxpayers weren’t so gracious as to provide imbecile teachers like myself with a paycheck! If we didn’t have public high schools, crime would increase exponentially, as would teenage pregnancy; the workforce would be even more unprepared than it is now. You wouldn’t have anyone competent to hire at your company.

Booklover

February 25th, 2011
4:51 pm

Oh and teachers DO NOT get paid for ANY vacation days!

We ONLY get paid for days we work. Also, there are no unions in Georgia…. ad nauseum….

irisheyes

February 25th, 2011
4:52 pm

@RC, you better stop now, because your ignorance is showing. My contract is paying me for 187 days. Your tax dollars don’t pay for a SINGLE day of my vacation. If I don’t work, I don’t get paid. However, there are MANY days that I work that I don’t get paid. I spend close to two weeks in my classroom before the school year (and my contract) starts, and I’m not making a single penny for any of it. I am, however, spending a decent amount of my money making sure that the classroom is fully supplied. Yes, I do get a paycheck all 12 months, but all that means is that the county has spread out my 187 days of pay over 12 months. I’m sure the next thing you will complain about are those powerful teachers union in Georgia.

Georgia Coach

February 25th, 2011
5:44 pm

John T stick to the subject. No one cares about your biography other than you. Any trip you take was funded by the ignorance of the shills who join your group, forfeiting $40 a month foolishly.

Good points Irish eyes.

Burroughston Broch

February 25th, 2011
6:11 pm

@ JOnathan and Maureen

Here’s some information from the Census Bureau and the Providence Schools website for your consideration:
Providence city population is 171,000.
The school system enrollment has fallen from 25,085 in January 2006 to 23,561 now (-6.4%).
Spending per pupil has increased from $12,157 in FY 2005-2006 to $15,305 in FY 2010-2011 (+25.9%).
Staff positions have fallen from 3,333 in FY 2005-2006 to 3,236 in FY 2010-2011 (-3%).
Teaching positions have fallen from 2,120 in FY 2005-2006 to 1,895 in FY 2010-2011 (-10.7%).

The spending is out of control. The staff size is out of control as they hire more non-teaching staff. It’s no wonder that the system is near bankrupt, along with the rest of the city. It’s a half-size mirror of the Atlanta Public Schools. Triage is being applied to keep the most vital parts of the city alive.

I love teaching. I hate what it is becoming...

February 25th, 2011
6:33 pm

I often wish folks like RC would actually go spend a week in a classroom and actually SEE what it is they are so willing to blabber about without having a real clue. Heck, a day would probably do it. It has never taken more than a few hours to turn around some antagonistic parents I have had visit to my room over the years. I openly invite them to come spend the day in my classroom and they usually have taken me up on it – likely in hopes they can “catch me” doing something wrong. By the end of the day, every one of them has converted into one of my biggest fans. They are usually pale faces and boggle eyed. “How do you DO it?” they wonder.

I recall one father who sat in the back of the room looking stern all morning. At lunch he insisted on running out to get a “bite to eat” because there was no way he was going to eat the “crap” in the lunchroom. I told him when to be back, and he was, with about two minutes to spare, carrying his take out bag. I told him, “Sorry, you don’t have time to eat it now. We have to pick up the kids!”

The look on his face was priceless. “But it’s barely been 25 minutes!”

I told him that was the reason for the “teacher special” – a candybar and a diet coke. The I suggested he hit the restroom before we returned to class. “We won’t get another break till school is out.”

“But that’s over 3 hours!”

LOL!

No clue.

HStchr

February 25th, 2011
9:47 pm

@I love teaching: my urologist told me last year that I needed to go to the bathroom more often!! After I got through laughing out loud, I explained the procedure for bathroom breaks at school and how many kids I had to supervise and when my “breaks”, such as they are, are available. He just shook his head…

@booklover: noone wants to deal with the very simple, but absolutely determining factor that we teachers cannot control the quality of the raw materials that come in our doors. We can’t guarantee that they have supportive families who can afford to feed and clothe them. We can’t guarantee they get enough sleep, medical care, or attention outside our rooms. We can’t fix their broken hearts and spirits when their friends or love interests hurt them. But somehow, it makes sense that a business model should work.

As to competition, that will only help in high performing, affluent schools. The poorer schools will always struggle to progress as fast as their affluent counterparts. I work with poor kids who struggle to read at a fifth grade level in high school. I get almost every one to move up at least one grade level, and often more. That will never translate into a miraculous transformation of these wonderful, challenging kids, but it will make their lives better. They’ll never see the test scores their classmates do, but they will improve. How will that growth be judges in a performance or competition system? It’s not pass the test=good teaching like so many think.

Equitas

February 25th, 2011
10:06 pm

The massive layoffs are a terrible way to cut spending
and balance the budget. Every educator that actually
ends up losing his, or her job has less money to spend
in their local economy. Teachers are paid from tax revenue,
but they also spend the bulk of their income in the private
sector ( purchasing consumer goods, financial services etc.).
The city of Providence might find that the budget deficit is
larger the next year,because tax revenues will decline,while
demand for certain city services increase. I hope as many
teachers as possible maintain their jobs.

@ Jonathan – Do you think the business world conducts
layoffs strictly on merit ? When a corporation
is laying off employees, they decide which
units of the company get the largest cuts
primarily based on merit-costs has nothing
to do with their decision ?

ScienceTeacher671

February 25th, 2011
11:36 pm

ScienceTeacher671

February 25th, 2011
11:49 pm

@HStchr – my doctor once gave me a diagnosis of “teacher bladder.”