That didn’t take long. No sooner does a Newark High School principal gets a lofty district position, the district announces two more administrative positions. Despite librarians not being fully restored even though it was a sort of/kind of referendum promise. Was this what the referendum was about? Filling more district slots? Have the class sizes been reduced in their planning for next year? Have all support staff been rehired or hired? Have all school budgets been restored? Has funding for performing and fine arts been restored? Does “enhancement” mean the same thing as “more district staff”? If the answer to all these questions are a resounding yes, then by all means, hire away. But if you can’t honor the promises made to taxpayers, then don’t complain when they vote no the next time around.
That last one looks tailor made for anyone working in the Delaware Department of Education Accountability unit. What does the Acting Superintendent do after all those job roles are shifted to someone else?
Last night at the Christina Board of Education meeting, it was announced the district would not rehire librarians laid off after the two failed referenda attempts last year. The district passed the third referendum attempt on March 23rd, and one of the promises made was the district would restore positions cut as a result of the budget cuts last year. Included in that was school librarians. While there is no specific mention of librarian positions on the actual Christina website, it does appear on the CSD Paving the Way website which was run by the steering committee for the referendum.
Even the Newark Post had an article in February where Glasgow High School principal Dean Ivory quoted:
Glasgow was one of many secondary schools that lost their librarians and though classroom teachers can still sign up to take their classes to the library, it’s not the same, Ivory said. A teacher in the school’s PATH program, whose class meets in the library, has taken on the extra responsibility of coordinating these class sign-ups, he added. If this year’s referendum does pass and schools can start adding staff again, Ivory said the librarian is one of the first positions he’d bring back. “That was a very painful cut,” he said. “But if it comes down to it, do you want to lose a math teacher or a librarian?”
So much for keeping their word! So where will the funds promised to librarians go to now? I gave First State Liberty a very hard time for how they handled the last referendum. But it looks like I should have been putting some pressure on the district as well. This news is very disappointing to say the least. What purpose does it serve to betray not only the librarians that were cut last year, but also the taxpayers in your district? This is why the referendum process needs to go. It has become like a Presidential election: all sorts of campaign promises that never happen. Social media comments regarding this broken promise are not being kind to the district. Shame on Superintendent Robert Andrzejewski for making promises he had no intention of keeping.
The district has already been under the microscope for immediately hiring outside vendors immediately following the referendum, including Demosophia which is helping the district to create a Strategic Plan in regards to their behavior and climate. Some felt hiring a former Title I administrator from the district as an outside consultant was a bit too much.