The school district plans to send out dismissal notices to every one of its 1,926 teachers, an unprecedented move that has union leaders up in arms.
In a letter sent to all teachers Tuesday, Supt. Tom Brady wrote that the Providence School Board on Thursday will vote on a resolution to dismiss every teacher, effective the last day of school.
In an e-mail sent to all teachers and School Department staff, Brady said, “We are forced to take this precautionary action by the March 1 deadline given the dire budget outline for the 2011-2012 school year in which we are projecting a near $40 million deficit for the district,” Brady wrote. “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.” State law requires that teachers be notified about potential changes to their employment status by March 1.
“To be clear about what this means,” Brady wrote, “this action gives the School Board the right to dismiss teachers as necessary, but not all teachers will actually be dismissed at the end of the school year.”
Providence’s 2010-2011 budget is $405,838,878 for 23,715 students ($17,113.17 per student). Locally, Madison’s per student spending this year is 15,490.13.
The Wisconsin Association of School Boards PDF:
The layoff clauses and the later deadlines for issuing layoff notices that are established by many of the layoff provisions in teacher collective bargaining agreements may be unavailable to districts if the budget repair bill passes in its current form. If this happens, the only way to reduce staff size for 2011-12 in some districts may be through the nonrenewal provisions of Wisconsin Statute 118.22. The absolute latest deadline for giving preliminary notice of nonrenewal to teachers for 2011-2012 would be February 28, 2011, but it would be preferable to have such notices issued by the 25th. Further, school districts that have always adhered to the section 118.22 nonrenewal deadlines to enact staff reductions must consider whether there is a need to issue additional preliminary notices of nonrenewal/staff reduction by the statutory deadline.
ACTION: WASB’s Employment and Labor Law Staff encourages all school districts to give public notice of a special school board meeting for Thursday February 25, 2011 (or Friday February 26th if meeting on the 25th is not possible).