It's not just parents and students on tenterhooks waiting for school placements. This week is incredibly stressful for the faculty and staff at many city schools, too. As principals hand out next year's teaching assignments, some teachers are discovering that the proposed budget cuts have left them officially "excessed" -- still employed by the DOE but without an active position. (While teachers historically had been automatically transfered, the 2006 UFT contract gave excessed educators control over their job search.)
Excessed teachers who don't -- or can't -- find a new school can spend up to two years in the "reserve pool," earning full wages and benefits, temporarily assigned to schools where the principals decide their workload. Cost to the city since 2006? $81 million. Predictably, the UFT and The New Teacher Project, which has close ties to the DOE, disagree over whether or not this policy is a waste of funds.
This year, looming budget cuts may mean even more teachers in reserve; this week, when assignments are made known, the atmosphere at many schools is tense.