Dear Families of PS16,
First we would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts for coming out in Full Force to the City Council Meeting on 5/8 and for a discussion with the BOE President on 5/9. Your presence and voices have made a GREAT IMPACT, drawing the attention from the media, the BOE and the City administration.
Some great examples of PS16 trending in the media last week:
- (PS16) Parents fight to save teachers jobs In JC
- Teachers receive Layoff Notices during Teacher Appreciation Week
- Lovely Poem by PS16 Parent Tripti Gupta that was shared on JCPS forums
Our Principal Ms. Watkins-Williams has asked us to express her heartfelt gratitude to you all on behalf of the staff! You guys have truly held the frontline, and showed our teachers and the rest of the world that PS16 families care and are willing for fight for their teachers.
To us they are so much more than just education professionals, they are extended family, people who help raise our children and help them achieve their best potential. We cannot allow them to be arbitrarily cut from our children’s lives. Our school would never be the same without them.
RECAP and STRATEGY for coming days:
On 5/8 we asked the City Council to release the revenues for the Payroll Tax to help our schools stop the teacher layoffs. (Our district is anticipating $27 million in state cuts this year, which is why hundreds of teachers across the district have received “Reduction in Force Notices” (RIF). PS16 is set to lose at least 9-10 teachers which comprises 25% of our entire instructional staff. (While we cannot disclose their names, feel free to reach out to your teacher and inquire if they are being laid off.)
On 5/9 Mayor Fulop sent out a Tweet followed by an Email (Mayor’s Email Re- Our Schools), announcing the Payroll Tax proceeds of $13.7 million to be allocated to the schools. Our parents have made a verbal request to the BOE President to prioritize these funds toward reversing the “Reduction in Force” actions and keeping our teachers where they are. We need to continue reinforcing this request.
By being PRESENT, and holding up Signs and Posters in Support of our teachers/kids (Like we did in City Hall). We need to show strength in NUMBERS and show that PS16 stands up for our own! (If possible, wear Navy or Royal Blue tops, we will have a number of youth XL PS16 uniform shirts to hand our to our parents so we can stand out in the crowd.)
By signing up for PUBLIC COMMENT (instructions here) and speaking on the following points:
- PS16 will suffer irreversible damage if we lose 25% of our best teachers. We need to keep ALL of them!
- We would like the BOE to prioritize the payroll tax proceeds of $13.7 million specifically to preserve teachers. Policy dictates that non-tenured teachers are the first to be laid off. Their salaries average approximately $70K. Thus the Payroll tax revenues can help save almost 200 jobs. (We want PS16 staff to remain fully intact)
Please let us know if you have any questions. We will continue to update you on direct action opportunities that we can engage in.
Thank you all so much!