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New Orleans: school staff face massive cuts in jobs, benefits

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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 06:52 AM
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New Orleans: school staff face massive cuts in jobs, benefits
I'm sure the Democrats won't let this happen.

The New Orleans Public School (NOPS) board is moving to break up the citys public school system and force though massive cuts to the jobs, pay and benefits of its workforce in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.

Operating behind closed doors, the NOPS board has rushed through long-standing plans to charter all 13 West Bank schools, effectively removing any obligations to the United Teachers of New Orleans (UTNO) union. The union president, Brenda Mitchell, has indicated she supports this move and only cautioned, I think were rushing into this, according to an October 15 article in the Times-Picayune.

The new charter schools will hire new staff for as little pay as possible without any participation from the union. All the seniority rights, job security and negotiated salaries won by the union membership over the years have been thrown out the window. Plans are in the works to charter the East Bank schools as well.

Alvarez & Marsal, the corporate turnaround firm that proposed the elimination of health benefits, has an 18-month contract with the city of New Orleans, dating back to before Katrina, to carry through similar cuts across the board. A&M may be reimbursed $4.2 million for their efforts by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It is estimated the new health-care plan will save the school system $1.7 million a month.

The drive to break up the New Orleans public school system is entirely in line with the Bush administrations priorities for the nations schoolchildren. The federal government has recently announced that $20.9 million in federal grant money will be available for Louisiana charter schools only. Federal and state officials are collaborating to take advantage of the disaster in New Orleans to stampede through changes they have sought to implement for years, effectively turning the devastated city into a showcase for their reactionary privatization agenda for education.

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Karmadillo Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Oct-19-05 05:08 PM
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1. Kick
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