Today, RI-CAN is launching a campaign in the final week of the 2012 General Assembly session to urge passage of H-7272 and S-2531, bills that would change the teacher layoff notification date from March 1 to June 1.
“The issue is raised year after year in the legislature and dies in committee despite broad support in the education community. The layoff date is the earliest mandated date in the country and requires school administration to participate in a yearly ritual of making blind guesses as to their personnel needs for the following year,” said Maryellen Butke, Executive Director. “These decisions affect the lives of the most important resources in our schools – our teachers. School leaders must look at our teachers and hand them a layoff notice in the middle of the school year, knowing full well how it will disrupt teaching and learning for both them and their students.”
The advocacy campaign will include:
• Supporters passing out “pink slips” to legislators, asking them to support teachers and students by passing H-7272 and S-2531.
• Advocates passing out resolutions from school committees across the state supporting these bills.
• A statewide ad campaign in local community daily newspapers and a mobile billboard truck that will drive around the State House on Wednesday to deliver the message to lawmakers as they enter their last week of session.
“From Westerly to Woonsocket, there is broad support for this legislation in the education community,” said Butke. “The notification date change would allow districts to better understand their budget projections, student enrollment numbers and needs for the following school years. They could make smarter and less disruptive choices. They could inform staff of necessary changes accurately.”