Riverview Gardens board makes critical hiring decisions; educators fear consequences for students
From the Missouri National Education Association
1810 E. Elm St., Jefferson City, MO 65101
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Riverview Gardens students return to school Aug. 18, but no one knows who will be there to teach them and maintain a safe, clean school environment.
At its meeting scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the Riverview Gardens central office [1370 Northumberland Drive, St. Louis, 63137], the Special Administrative Board appointed by the State Board of Education will meet to make final hiring decisions for the district. The board has hired only 161 employees in a staff of more than 700.
Riverview Gardens NEA members and supporters are alarmed at the potential consequences of the new board’s actions and will gather in front of the district’s central office building at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, preceding the Special Administrative Board’s meeting, to voice their concerns.
“Riverview Gardens students deserve teachers and staff who are truly dedicated to students and the community,” says RGNEA President Richard Thies. “RGNEA members have demonstrated their dedication to students through years of service and in day-to-day relationships with students. The district doesn’t need a massive turnover in staff at the last minute. It needs a clear vision of how to deliver great schools for all of the children in the Riverview Gardens school district. RGNEA has offered a collaborative plan, but district administrators have ignored the proposals and chosen to take drastic measures that are not in the best interest of the students the district serves.”
The State Board of Education declared in May to dissolve the district due to low scores in the Missouri Assessment Program. The state board replaced the existing Riverview Gardens school board with a new three-member Special Administrative Board, charged with dissolving the district by June 30 and rebuilding it by Aug. 2, when district staff members return to work.
The 35,000-member MNEA represents teachers, education support professionals, college faculty, retired teachers and students studying to be teachers in school districts and on college campuses throughout the state. It is the Missouri affiliate of the 3.2 million-member NEA.