D.C. Principals' Union Rips Layoffs
The president of the union that represents DCPS principals accused Chancellor Michelle A. Rhee Friday of unfairly leaving school administrators to take the heat for the upcoming round of teacher layoffs, creating "the very real potential of subjecting our members to physical harm and unsafe working conditions."
Aona H. Jefferson, president of the Council of School Officers Local 4, said Rhee has created the misimpression that principals are calling the shots on the reduction in force (RIF) necessitated, the chancellor announced last week, by spending cuts that could reach $40 million.
"The principals do not set their budgets, nor do they have any authority to do this. DCPS controls every aspect of the budgetary process, including final determinations that must be made with respect to job cuts for financial reasons," wrote Jefferson, the former principal of H.D. Woodson High School, whose local represents 653 principals, assistant principals, and other managers and specialists.
"If you are going to claim that there is a budgetary shortfall and cuts are necessary, we do not want our principals to be scapegoats. The ultimate responsibility for these cuts is yours and not that of our hard-working principals," Jefferson wrote. She demanded that adequate security be provided.
"It is reasonable to expect that RIF decisions will be met with an emotional response from some individuals," she said.
Rhee said she had not formally received the letter from the union and would wait to do so before commenting.
September 25, 2009; 4:44 PM ET
Categories: Bill Turque , Education
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