D.C. Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee told the Examiner that 68 educators, with a combined annual payroll of $5.4 million, will not be placed in schools this term but, due to their contracts and seniority, their employment cannot be terminated.
The skills of these teachers, aides, and assistant principals may be too weak to allow them to teach our children, but their experience should not go to waste, nor should they sit idle while collecting public salaries.
Over one-third of the District’s adults cannot read a food label or complete a job application, and the rate of functional illiteracy is even higher for the incarcerated. 68 educators are available to help remedy this problem. Right now, immediately. Put them in half-way houses and D.C. Jail. Start a second shift or night school at the jail if demand exceeds capacity of the facilities.
Mayor Fenty has coordinated Adult Literacy programs under the State Education Office. I am sure the Chancellor and Deputy Mayor for Education could expedite detailing of these DCPS employees to the SEO for this vital effort.
And if some of the idle educators do not feel up to the challenge and decide to pursue other opportunities, good luck to them. The salary lines freed up can be used to hire more skilled classroom teachers for DC’s children.