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East Providence Teacher Layoff Toll Reaches 37

After class scheduling is solidified, administrators will make further adjustments and may hire back some staff members.

At Tuesday night's East Providence School Committee meeting, Interim Superintendent Edward Daft reported 37 staff members in total, including a good portion of special education specialists, could be potentially laid off by next September.

Months ago, the committee announced that .

"We work with principals, we work with union leadership to try and mitigate the anxiety the stress that people feel when they do get layoffs," Daft said. "We try to keep that number down."

Mary King, finance director for the department, said a projected savings could not be estimated quite yet. Some teachers will be rehired after periods of leave. After class scheduling is solidified, administrators will make further adjustments and may hire back some staff members. She anticipates programs, like foreign languages, will be consolidated. 

Laurie Brown, co-chairman of the East Providence Parent Advisory Committee on Special Education, took to the podium to ask how further layoffs will affect special education services. Daft said he hadn't heard of many complaints at the high school since staff members were laid off months ago. She wanted additional information regarding the layoffs. Daft said a plan was in place to teacher assistants (TAs).

"It's just concerning," she said, regarding special education layoffs.

Veteran February 15, 2012 at 11:13 AM
Bring charter schools to EP, lay them all off, all 500. I work 180 days a year, I need a raise, please!!!
The Baker February 15, 2012 at 12:09 PM
I think his name is Daft not Taft. Not sure but might want to check.
Concerned parent February 15, 2012 at 12:54 PM
His name is Daft not Taft. Laying off any special education would be a devastating to special needs children.
Abigail Crocker (Editor) February 15, 2012 at 03:08 PM
Hi users! Thanks for the correction. I typed the story very late last night.
Jack February 15, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Obviously Paul does not have a special needs student. Our special needs student has made remarkable progress since we moved to EP, EP is much better compared to some other districts in this state, and would be a big loss for us.
Jack February 15, 2012 at 03:42 PM
And Paul's solution is to put them on disability... hmm who pays for that? The taxpayer, either way - in school or on disability. At least at school, they are getting an education
s February 15, 2012 at 04:30 PM
paul-my daughter has a disability and is not a LOST CAUSE. Where is your humanity? Special education encompasses kids of all needs. At the local Special Education council meeting, I recall that a lot of classes in EP have 1/3 of the students with an IEP. That is not "just a few". Helping kids when they're young enables them to more likely be independent and hold a job and get to their full potential;. Your comment is almost not worthy of a reply but too ignorant and incorrect to ignore.
Rumford Resident February 15, 2012 at 06:31 PM
We should not forget the benefits that the Bradley Partnership has brought to EP. EP is lucky to have always had a strong special ed division. Kids are now lucky to have access to Bradley specialists. A win/win as Deborah Gist has highlighted. Thanks Tony, Mario and the prior school committee for making this program available to our kids.
SP February 15, 2012 at 06:48 PM
The Bradley student have access to Bradley specialists - not the EP students. They are in the EP schools and EP is paying $41,000. a year for each student to be educated by Bradley in the East Providence Schools. They use several classrooms, cafeteria, gym, nurse and more and in some cases only have 4 -5 students in the classrooms. Not sure if this program is really a win/win.
Rumford Resident February 15, 2012 at 06:53 PM
If you asked the kids in the program and their parents they would say it is a win/win. I don't think this budget commission would allow for a failed program to continue if it wasnt good for the city and the kids.
Paul February 15, 2012 at 09:05 PM
Sometimes, our anger at the unions is misdirected. It's never good for someone to lose their job, even if we feel that the teachers union (through shell organizations like the Working Families Coalition) stole elections. It's never good for us to belittle fire fighters and the police because their union leaders and their political lackeys negotiated expensive contracts that are now bringing our city to its knees. It's also not the fault of the special needs kids that they are disabled; that should not be cause to deny them an education. The unions and the politicians have taken much from our City. Don't allow them to take our sense of compassion, and our respect for those who keep us safe and who teach our children.
Rick February 15, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Is occupational and physical and speech therapy considered "education"? How much of the school budget is spent on special education covering these "medical" therapies?
Debbie February 16, 2012 at 01:32 AM
Paul your such an idiot, it's people like you who are pathetic excuses for human beings!
Debbie February 16, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Actually Paul maybe you should go on disability for your stupidity!!!!!!
Mary February 16, 2012 at 03:36 AM
Paul is an idiot and obviously has no compassion or regard for people I believe what you are stating is called discrimination
Abigail Crocker (Editor) February 16, 2012 at 06:21 AM
Hi everyone - dialogue is encouraged. These are noteworthy issues. But please keep it clean.
Arthur Dolloff February 19, 2012 at 08:06 PM
I do not wish to make little of the needs for special Ed. As Charlie asked “why does EP seem to have a disproportionately high amount of special Ed students”? I think Jacks comment may shed some insight here. He appears to have moved here partially because the special Ed program here is very good, better than several communities he compared he states. We spend a lot of school funds on special Ed, and I have yet to see a superintendent’s report mentioned as to how well this money is being spent. I am not saying we should cut this funding but the taxpayers deserve an explanation in real terms of how a disability is defined and how special the resultant education needs to be. I know every person is precious and deserves the best chances they can get; their training early is very much responsible for their success later. And the costs to provide that training are very much the right of the taxpayer to understand how that affects them and their city’s future. Come on Daft step up and explain to us what we need to understand about the issue, after all you are the person with the answers !!
Arthur Dolloff February 19, 2012 at 08:26 PM
I do not see the problem as being one of retribution, but the fact that the law and union contracts require this layoff notice. Sure the unions put it to the voters in the last election. Our compassion can be raised if we can understand what is going on and reconcile if the need is worth the cost. Eventually compassion is a state of mind and soul, doing what we can to support that need, unfortunately often becomes a victim of whether we can afford to do what is needed. Without the understanding of the issues we are hard pressed to make good decisions on the matter. After we all took a hit at the union hand I think a deeper understanding of the actual issues needs to be presented by the Superintendant for closer examination. After all he works for us!!
Tonya Borello February 19, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Our property taxes (taxes in general) continue to rise as people continue to move here because we have such a great special ed department. Many of these folks dont pay taxes because they rent apartments. We need to stop acting as though it's our job to save the world. My house is now on the market and hopefully is sold soon god willing because we can not afford to live in East Providence anymore. When we bought our home we couldn't afford Seekonk, so we settled here and now we are looking in Seekonk because we can no longer afford EP. It's crazy.
KH Parent February 19, 2012 at 09:14 PM
Can someone explain to me what is so good about our special ed dept here in EP? I am not asking to be sarcastic. I am genuinely curious and would like to hear something good about this school system for a change.
Just the Facts February 20, 2012 at 12:29 AM
Being a Teacher requires a degree, Right? I think you're a little out of your league on this one Mike. Stick to driveways.....
JR February 20, 2012 at 10:37 PM
And Arthur it is all covered by the IDEA, Federal law! Cutting is not really an option, the current director of "pupil Personell" (special ed), has cut our numbers from 27% to @21% !!! There have been reports on our special ed, Bacon and Edge praised the current director for her diligent controlling of the numbers.
JR February 20, 2012 at 10:40 PM
Historically EP has always looked at WHAT IS BEST FOR THE CHILD! There are some district that have a reputation of fighting parents, and not looking out for wht is best for the student. These districts rely on parents not fighting back, and those that do win in court... IT IS EXPENSIVE, but I agree with putting the students needs first.

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