The Newport School Committee voted on Tuesday, May 23, to notify nine teachers that their contracts will not be renewed for the next school year.
According to state law, Supt. Colleen Jermain said she must notify them by June 1. Depending on what happens with the budget and how much funding the city decides to allocate to the school department, the teachers could possibly be brought back.
Committee member David Carlin cast the only vote against the motion, saying he felt the district was “shooting first and aiming afterwards.”
“We should have run through the scenarios and looked at the max amount and least amount of money the city could give us and go from there,” he said. “We should have built a restructuring plan around our three schools instead of saying the only way to solve budgetary concerns is to lay good teachers off. I cannot support this.”
Committee member Rebecca Bolan said she’d like to see, in future years, if the district can find out earlier how much funding it will receive, to potentially help prevent such layoffs.
Committee members Dr. Sandra Flowers and Jo Eva Gaines agreed that it’s unfortunate to have to lay off teachers, but that it must be done to adhere with state law.
“Hopefully things will level off and we can welcome some, if not all of them, back,” Flowers said.