January 14, 2009

East Providence Schools: The Fiscal Problems They Face

Marc Comtois

Anchor Rising has received the following:

The East Providence School Committee is providing 2 examples of the financial avalanche facing our entire community.

Attached is legal action by the Northern RI Collaborative seeking past due payment of $563,214.30 for tuition payments for our special-needs students.

It is irrational that the teachers' union chooses to ignore the financial crisis facing its own community. This is apparent given their behavior at our school committee meeting tonight.

Here is a copy of the bill from the NRIC (PDF). Additionally, here is a bill from the RI Interscholastic League with charges totaling $6,496 (PDF).

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I got a belly laugh from reading Crowley's post today about how last night proved that "the people" are on the side of the teachers and the SC has no support. Ok, so you read his site and there's teacher support, you read this site, and not so much. So how about a neutral site, like WJAR's?


If that's what he calls "support", and I was a teacher, I'd really fear for my own future.

Posted by: pitcher at January 14, 2009 4:07 PM

Don't put any stock into the rants of Baghdad Bob Walsh or Comrade Crowley - they're just public sector propagandists.

Any they're just part of the breed that needs to be crushed for the good of our country:

"More worrisome is the ease with which disgruntled union members have resorted to violence, the callous intimidation of co-workers, and life-threatening negligence to get their way." - The Coming Showdown with Public Labor


Rhode Island was home to some of the early skirmishes of the Revolutionary War. It is again. The NEA thinks that it won last night in East Providence, It didn't. It showed its true colors - and as more people see that, the more join the revolution seeking to overthrow the public union tyranny that has been ruling Rhode Island.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at January 14, 2009 4:53 PM

"The People" were not at the meeting. Pat and his ilk did what they do regularly -- they try to instill fear, and enforce submission to their will, by coercion and intimidation. NEA and other public unions are organized against the general populace to secure what they consider best for their own membership, regardless of the ability of everyone else to pay for it.

There were about 1100 or so people last night. By my count, maybe a 100 or so were taxpayers from East Providence; the other 1000 were unionists from around the state and elsewhere.

At least half of the people in the audience were not East Providence residents (keep in mind, there are only 500 public school teachers in East Providence at present). I also suspect that a number of the union members in the audience were not in fact teachers, because even I would find it hard to believe that those doing the real intimidation (getting in peoples faces, making threats) were NEA members. They are probably teamsters or laborers.

PS The teachers better hope that the judge rules in the school committee's favor, because they really, really aren't going to like "Plan B". :)

Posted by: Will at January 14, 2009 5:09 PM

Early on, before the meeting started, I was approached by someone wearing a NEARI shirt. In our conversation I learned that not only are teachers in the NEA but also clerical workers and plumbers. "Plumbers" I quipped. "Yes, why is that so surprising" he inquired. "Plumbers, OK." I shrugged So there you have it, a good many of the folks there were probably not teachers.

Posted by: bobc at January 14, 2009 6:03 PM

>>"Plumbers" I quipped. "Yes, why is that so surprising" he inquired

No surprise at all.

Baghdad Bob Walsh and Comrade Crowley are so full of it that the toilets at NEARI headquarters probably require daily repair and replacement ... by "professional" plumbers.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at January 14, 2009 6:08 PM

"PS The teachers better hope that the judge rules in the school committee's favor, because they really, really aren't going to like "Plan B". :)"

Plan B I assume is mass layoffs in June?
If so, I think I like it better than Plan A.

Posted by: Mike at January 14, 2009 7:07 PM

"Plan B I assume is mass layoffs in June?"

Who said anything about June? :)

Posted by: Will at January 14, 2009 7:13 PM

I would lose respect for the NEA if I ever found out Joe the Plumber was one of theirs. LOL

Posted by: rhody at January 14, 2009 7:58 PM

The thing I wonder, Marc, is,did the school committee give the same information you received to the union? Is the release now a PR event? If the committee had information that they did not share with the union how can there be any trust?

Posted by: David at January 14, 2009 8:29 PM

On the contrary, David, the School Committee has very publicly shared with the teachers union and anyone who will listen that the city is facing a $4m+ budget deficit last year plus a $4m+ budget deficit this year.

Further, this is taxpayer money. Accordingly, the budget, any deficit or surplus and all line item expenditures are very much public information.

Despite all of this, the teachers union has found it difficult to believe that East Providence has a deficit and a serious budget problem. For this reason, presumably, the School Committee chose to release the details of actual outstanding invoices so as to further assist the union in comprehending the scope of the problem.

Again, they really did not need to do so; all such details are a matter of public record and so have already been shared.

Posted by: Monique at January 14, 2009 11:01 PM
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