Central Falls, R.I.–(ENEWSPF)–
A plan to dismiss the entire faculty and staff of the only public high school in this small city just west of the Massachusetts border was approved Tuesday night at an emotional public meeting of the school board.
The board voted 5 to 2 to accept a plan proposed by Schools Superintendent Frances Gallo to fire the approximately 100 faculty and staff members at the chronically underperforming Central Falls High School on the last day of this school year in June.
The plan will also create a new school governance structure and requires the high school’s new teachers to take part in “professional development” that meets federal standards.
As soon as the meeting ended, the board went into a closed session and members were not available for comment.
Dr. Gallo said during the meeting that she chose what she called a “turnaround” plan, one of four offered by the state, after the teachers’ union rejected conditions in another state plan that called for increased hours without the promise of salary increases.
“Union leadership went too far because I would not commit to monetary incentives,” Dr. Gallo said.
Teachers and union members said Dr. Gallo and the board had not bargained with them in good faith.
“We have been at the table,” Jane Sessums, president of the Central Falls Teachers Union, said at a premeeting rally at a local park attended by hundreds of teachers, students and supporters. “They have not been willing to bargain.”