Kathy Crain was kind enough to provide us with the following synopsis of tonight’s meeting. We have heard similar concerns (really shock and dismay) from other parents who attended the meeting:
“The Committee discussed the ramifications of the mediated version of Criterion Based Hiring and its implications for the next three years. The SB Attorney was there to answer questions on behalf of the District.
Here are the main points:
- The District expects that we will have many schools identified by RIDE as “Persistently Low Achieving” (“PLA Schools”) within the next three years. At an earlier meeting, Dr. Lusi speculated that up to half of our schools will receive that designation by 2013. Pursuant to the Federally mandated alternatives for PLA Schools, the District expects that up to half of the staff at each of those schools will be removed from the school, thereby becoming “Displaced Teachers”. According to the agreement entered into by the Mayor and the PTU, the District will still be obligated to provide those Displaced Teachers with employment. Therefore, in accordance with the mediated version of CBH, every year (beginning in Jan/Feb and continuing until there are no longer any Displaced Teachers), the District will begin identifying displaced teachers and vacancies around the District. Displaced teachers will be placed into existing vacancies through a match process. The assignment will be permanent. There will be no criterion based hiring processes implemented in the District until ALL displaced teachers have been matched with positions, effectively ending Criterion Based Hiring.
- The Union is arguing that if there are too many displaced teachers and not enough vacancies, the mediated version of CBH gives a Displaced Teacher the right to “bump” the most junior teacher with the same certification if the Displaced Teacher has seniority over that teacher. It is unclear whether or not that means the Displaced Teacher is then “matched” into that position. The School Board Counsel noted that it is unclear what the Mayor’s position is on this.
- The SB Attorney also noted that the School Board was opposed to the Mediated Version of CBH and passed a new Criterion Based Hiring Policy in late May that removed seniority as a factor in hiring. It was passed in Executive Session and the minutes were sealed. They were unsealed about a month ago. When asked why the minutes were sealed, the SB President stated that it was because the Board had been asked not to vote on the policy until the Mayor had finished negotiations with the Union. I then added that the Mayor had specifically asked the Board not to vote on it, but we did so in Executive Session anyway. Despite the sealed minutes, the School Department had been made aware of the new policy, but failed to enforce the policy because the Mayor issued an “Executive Order” to the School Department to stop all CBH processes until he was done with negotiations. Despite the protests of the School Board, the School Department complied with the request of the Mayor.
-My additional comment on this is that this is exactly why the Mayor came up with the Jabbour Bill that stripped the Board of its powers. He knew we were going to reject the CBA and had to figure out a way to get around it. It’s a sad day for education in Providence.”
The following meetings are scheduled for the next 2 days: