Central Falls Teachers, School District Reach Agreement

(NECN: Central Falls, R.I.) - The school district and teachers union in Central Falls has reached tentative agreement on a plan that would allow its current staff to return to Central Falls High School without reapplying for their jobs.

Superintendent Fran Gallo's plan to fire all the school's teachers and then possibly rehiring some drew the ire of the teachers union. The new agreement, if ratified, means the school would retain the current staff as part of the implementation of a "transformation plan."

According to a joint press release by the school district and teachers union, the plan would include a host of changes:

"The agreed upon plan would also incorporate important changes designed to increase student achievement. These include a longer school day, more after-school tutoring, a new evaluation system designed to inform teaching and learning, and targeted and embedded professional development, among other changes. Details of the agreement will be released following a ratification vote by Central Falls teachers at a meeting Monday. A press conference is scheduled at the high school at 3:30 p.m."

Both sides expressed a desire to move ahead in the best interest of the student body.

"From the start, my principal concern was not who would be working at the high school, but whether the new school leadership team would have the flexibility it needed to improve student achievement. Today's agreement provides this flexibility. Thankfully, these very important, common-sense reforms will help more of our students succeed," said Central Falls Superintendent Fran Gallo, according to the press release.

"There has always been agreement on these points: that we all want what is best for our students, and that significant changes are needed at Central Falls High Schools. Working together, we and the district have arrived at a solid, forward-looking agreement that provides supports for our students and the tools our teachers need to help them succeed," Central Falls Teachers Union President Jane Sessums said, according to the press release. "The hard work begins now, and the CFTU is prepared to work shoulder to shoulder with the district to give our kids the great education they deserve."

The initial plan to fire the school's teaching staff was lauded by President Barack Obama at the time.

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