Mayor Taveras asked on Facebook for people to respond to his decision to send out the termination notices to Providence teachers, and NEA Executive Director Bob Walsh replied:
Since you asked: I think the terminating rather than laying off teachers is not only a violation of the law, it is a violation of the trust that so many have put into you. Please fix this awful mistake.
One consequence of this misguided action is that every experienced Providence teacher in shortage areas becomes easier for the districts outside of Providence to recruit (see how many left Central Falls High School for other districts after last year.) Another is the chilling effect this will have on efforts for collaborative relationships in the future. A third is the cost of 1926 legal appeals!
I know you well enough to know that you don’t want to be compared to the Governor of Wisconsin. Please respect the contract, respect the law and most importantly, respect the teachers.
While I come down on the side of teachers taking some concessions to help with the budget crisis, I do not agree with the decision to send out termination letters. It really bothers me, and I am not even a teacher.