Student Christian Manco, 15, said there was a walkout of students in support of their teachers.

“Honestly, it’s not a good idea,” he said of the firings. “The school wants them to work more hours for no extra pay.”

As of press time, it was unclear whether a compromise might emerge. The union said it plans to file appeals over the dismissals.

Gist said she’s awaiting more detailed plans from the superintendent. She doubts that Gallo will consider another path and said Rhode Island cannot tolerate a school at which only half of students graduate on time.

“Those are just numbers that are not sustainable for a community,” Gist said. “In today’s economy, young people who are leaving high school without a diploma are going to struggle throughout their life.”

Links:

America’s Promise Alliance

U.S. Chamber of Commerce

Central Falls School District

American Federation of Teachers