Sunday, February 27, 2005

A Mixed Message

The Providence School Board could have sent a message to Don Carcieri and the General Assembly by refusing the proposed job cuts submitted by outgoing Superintendent Melody Johnson. Think, they could have said 'No! These positions are too important to be cut. We're going to have to figure something out, but you're not cutting our children's already limited future.' They could have, but they didn't. Not exactly. At a special meeting on the School Board decided NOT to send pink slips to 21 nurse-teachers and 10 social workers. However, the board voted in favor of sending pink slips to 20 guidance counselors and 47 social workers. This doesn't mean that the people receiving the pink slips will be dismissed. Instead, their jobs will remain in jeopardy for the foreseable future. I can understand the School Board's decision in handing out these potential terminiations. The Governor has not earmarked enough monies for Providence and they must leave themselves an out in case the governor doesn't change his budget. The School Board balked at taking such a leap into the darkness. Can we blame them? The School Board would have faced serious challenges if come next school year it is unable to pay for its programs and from where would the help come? I wonder how lenient the Providence Teachers Union would be then? *note sarcasm* In essence, the School Board was stuck between a rock and a hard place. They chose to leave themselves with options and not address the situation head on. Not yet anyway. And I can't blame them...there's plenty of that to go around.


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