PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — Rhode Island education commissioner Deborah Gist is warning school superintendents she'll take severe action against districts that use seniority when deciding to assign, keep or lay off teachers.
Gist also warned against using job fairs or bumping — which is when an employee’s job is eliminated and that worker takes the position of an employee with less seniority.
The Providence Journal reports (http://bit.ly/11vsOOF) that in the letter released Friday, Gist threatens loss of certification for violators. She also says she'll take districts to court or withhold state education aid if districts don’t comply with her interpretation of an education regulation called the Basic Education Program.
The Rhode Island Federation of Teachers responded by accusing Gist of bullying school committees and administrators. The union also said she’s attempting to gut collective bargaining rights.