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Providence dismisses entire teaching force

February 23, 2011

Providence city officials are sending pink slips to 1,926 teachers in a move Superintendent Tom Brady calls “unprecedented.” City officials say the layoff notices are meant to provide “maximum flexibility” as the city looks to cut school spending.

Providence schools face a $40 million deficit for the coming school year. City officials are still calculating Providence’s total budget gap, but they say the number is likely to be significant.

Pink slips are common at this time of year in all Rhode Island school districts due to a state law that requires all teachers to be notified by March 1st if there is a chance they will not have a job the following school year. Hundreds, if not thousands, of pink slips are sent out annually under the rule, though the vast majority are usually rescinded once districts complete their budget process.

Providence school officials say they cannot remember a time when notices were sent to the entire teaching force. They say they hope to rescind the notices for most teachers before the end of the current school year.

The action is still subject to a vote by the school board, scheduled for later this week.

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