TIME FOR THE RIF LIST TO RIP
What kind of threat or incompetence is the reduction-in-force (RIF) list?
The Dominion Post reports:
Does Mon Schools every year expect a mass die-off of students so that, Hey! We may not need 50, 100, or 150 teachers and staff next year!
The RIF list is idiotic at best. Threatening otherwise.
The student population scarcely fluctuates except to rise on average. And even when it does dip some years, instead of cutting teachers and staff that Mon Schools may desperately need the following year and who provide continuity and gain experience, why not give the students a break, cut their classes sizes a bit, thereby providing for all the teachers and staff and overall helping out the school, the teachers, and the students, their education not least. Additional teachers per students should be looked at as a wonderful opportunity, rather than as a curse to be avoided.
How many RIF workers were transferred each year as opposed to being cut? It’s not called the SHIFT in force list, it’s called the REDUCTION in force list. Being transferred (shifted) to another school across town as opposed to being cut (reduced, a euphemism for cut) from all the schools in the area are two totally different things, and such workers should be on two totally different lists, if such lists in some reasonable form are necessary at all. But Superintendent Devono irresponsibly and unprofessionally talks and acts as if mass layoffs could ensue, not least by even having such a list. This outrageous posturing has a severe chilling effect upon teachers and staff from feeling free to speak their minds.
RIF shifts and cuts can be used as an anti-educational way to save a few bucks. But save for whom? Not for the students whose class sizes would remain jacked up, not for the employees who contribute to the life and culture of the school and the local communities, not to their continuing work growth and experience. Any such cuts and some shifts can make for an anti-professional, anti-educational “savings” of the cheapest possible kind, at best a tiny fractional few dollars as compared to the overall budget, but in reality cuts especially create a real loss of personal, professional, and educational value and experience. In addition to a different kind of negative financial and economic impact.
So it is that the RIF lists are completely demoralized and demoralizing, or, at best, stupid. Not exactly what an educational entity should aim for. What is the history of these lists and the people on them? Do people ever get cut, how many? when? why/under what circumstances? are they ever hired back? These lists for the past 20 years should be made publicly available and explained in context: how many people were ever not rehired, and why, and what happened to them? What were the conditions of the schools and students and communities?
And since everyone or most everyone is hired back in at least some (most? all?) years, the lists should be eliminated or radically revisioned. Last year 122 workers were on the Mon Schools RIF list, the Dominion Post reports, but all were hired back. Not 50 percent were hired back, not 80 percent, not 99 percent but all of 122 people (which is the equivalent of about all the workers including bus drivers at Woodburn Elementary three times over). So such lists are clearly stupid. Or threatening. Both, in effect.
It’s time for these malignant RIF lists to RIP – or to BIH, as the case may be. That is, it is time for Superintendent Devono to take a far more constructive and professional approach toward the professionals, the teachers and staff, among whom he works.
If anyone should be on an RIF list, it’s Superintendent Devono. Who needs a planner like that? Who could or should tolerate such lack of professionalism? He is still planning to force young children into a vehicle-exhaust-polluted intersection site for the new elementary school. What idiocy and negligence. Sorry to be so blunt – it’s not exactly a small matter. Could the superintendent have pushed for and recommended a worse more student-health-damaging site for a new pre-k and grade school than the WV 705 & US 119 intersection with its tens of thousands of vehicles per day passing by and polluting the air, damaging to all who breath it, especially young children? There should be six names on the RIF list. One should be Devono, and the others should be the 5 complicit members of the school board: Parsons, Statler, Harvey, Kelly, and Walker.
Oh, and this stellar crew, in addition to trying to push our children into vehicle exhaust (and intersection crash roulette) is remodeling their board meeting room. They are not doing the needed paving work around Woodburn Elementary where the workers park in gravel and mud or around Brookhaven Elementary where the potholes will blow out your tires. And if they abandon Woodburn in a couple years they will just dump the mess they made of the parking lots on the community. Thanks, Mon Schools! Mon Schools doesn’t even pay for the work of the Woodburn school crossing guard, the city does. But Mon Schools is remodeling the board meeting room for no apparent reason other than that they likely fear they will be court-ordered to put their meetings on TV, like City Council meetings, which they have thus far refused to do. That’s great. Put yourselves on the RIF list, please, board and superintendent, soonest. The quality of the school system demands it. Shove your own children into vehicle exhaust, if the authorities will let you, don’t shove ours.
From the Dominion Post, “Mon County Puts 70 Employees on the RIF List” by Jim Bissett: