Trenton Schools Update

There’s lots of discussion regarding the pros and cons of tenure. The Trenton Times describes an instance that highlights the difficulties school districts face in dismissing tenured employees. Rayshaun Davis, a member of one of the Trenton Public Schools unions, the Business-Technical Employees Association, was assigned as a Youth Development Liaison at Trenton Central High in a program designed to “help students avoid teen pregnancy, substance abuse and other pitfalls of at-risk youth.”

Here’s the current contract for the union.

According to his supervisor, Davis stole a master key and had “five closed-door counseling sessions” with an underage student and had “inappropriate contact.” In addition he was charged with “inappropriate sexual advances toward female co-workers” and “creating a climate of sexual hostility.” The School Board fired him.

The union then appealed the termination because, it said, Davis was fired “without due cause.” The School Board appealed that decision, which was uphold by both the Appellate Court and the Commissioner. Davis got all his back pay. It’s unclear whether he’s still employed by the district, though accordingly to the contract he is if he wants to be.

In other Trenton news, the School Board there is still fighting the judgement of both the Fiscal Monitor assigned by the State and its superintendent, Raymond Broach. The district stands to save $6.4 million by outsourcing custodians. The Board vowed to preserve the custodians’ jobs in spite of the savings. When Trenton was informed that the State was upping its aid by $10 million, Broach proposed that the Board continue to employ 27 head custodians and outsource the rest, then use the remainder of the unexpected state aid to hire additional child study teams to work with special education students, expand security, hire 31 special ed teachers, and upgrade technology.

Nope, says the Board. Keep those custodians.