It's usually around this time of year that school districts around the country facing budget deficits start issuing layoff notices to teachers and other school employees in anticipation of some of them losing their jobs before the next school year. None this year have been as dramatic as the announcement by the Woonsocket, Rhode Island, school district, as reported by WPRI.com:
The Woonsocket School Department is considering issuing pink slips to all 700 district employees.Ummmm, actually, Mr. Partington, you and your membership may not like it, but the move is actually sending a message that you and the community desperately need to hear: business as usual as you and everyone else in this country has known it their whole lives is over. It's time to adjust to the new realities. If your membership wants to save their colleagues' jobs, everyone needs to take a pay cut. It sucks, but there really isn't much of an alternative. Even soaking the rich with much higher taxes (a move I strongly favor from a basic fairness standpoint) would only serve to kick the can on this problem down the road for a short time before it becomes inevitable anyway as state and local government revenues continue to collapse.
The school committee will discuss the possibility at a special meeting Wednesday night.
The move would give the district more flexibility to handle anticipated budget cuts.
The Woonsocket Teachers Guild plans to challenge the plan. They're urging residents of the city to stand up for the teachers, saying that the termination notices would disrupt the quality of education for their children.
"While not all educators receiving notices would actually be let go, giving termination notices to all teachers and paraprofessionals sends the wrong message to the community about the city's commitment to public education," said Teachers Guild President Jeffrey Partington in a statement.
If it is any comfort to you, Woonsocket is hardly alone. Check out these other school layoff headlines around the country from the Daily Job Cuts website for just this month alone:
The Elk Grove Unified School District CA - 100+ Layoff NoticesAnd I'm sure there will be plenty more to come during the next couple of months.
Update: Long Beach Unified School Board CA - Approves 308 Layoffs
Saugus Union School District CA - 80
Paradise Unified School District CA - 31 Job Cuts on Board Meetings Agenda tonight
The Temecula Valley Unified School District CA - Vote Tuesday on 120 Layoffs
Saugus Union School District - 84 Layoff Notices
Portsmouth RI Schools - 29
East Providence RI - Layoff Total reaches 37
Lakota Local Schools Ohio - 69 Proposed Layoffs
West suburban Indian Prairie District 204 IL - Considers 100 Layoffs
Canton Central School District NY - 44 Layoffs Possible
San Lorenzo School District CA - 133 Pink Slips to Temporary Teachers
Virginia Beach Schools - Budget Cuts Could Mean Layoffs
Utica NY Schools - 150 Job Cuts Next Year, Worst Case
Philadelphia School District - 90
Paradise Schools CA - 31 Layoffs Approved
Staunton (Virginia) Schools - 42
Athens School District PA Considers Closing Three Elementary Schools
Bonus: Someday this will be the only high school left