Wednesday, June 18

Schools cut teaching positions


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.

11 comments:

Wasted Funds yet again said...

This is a ridiculous waste of funds. So the taxpayers have to pay for teachers to sit and do nothing, and meanwhile there are schools with overcrowded classrooms that can benefit from having an extra teacher in the class. There's got to be a better way to manage resources than this.

Anonymous said...

This is definitely waste of funds, why have teachers sit and do nothing when so many schools and children are in need of help. The budget cut is outrageous, it is not only hurting teachers. Children are at risk in a situation like this. I thought they were the future, but obvious the city doesnot see them as the future, the only concern is saving funds. This is the worst thing that could ever happen in the history of education.

Anonymous said...

4:48,

The worst thing is, they're not even saving funds, since they still have to pay these teachers to sit around twiddling their thumbs.

I suppose they're waiting for these teachers to eventually quit on their own out of boredom or something.

There's got to be a way of letting go of teachers who are not performing up to par. But that's another topic of its own.

Anonymous said...

From a teacher: excessed teachers don't "sit and twiddle their thumbs". If they don't find an assignment on their own, then they usually serve as subs for absent teachers, which actually saves a school money that it would otherwise have to pay an outside person to serve as a sub. Excessed teachers just aren't teaching in their subject area. No one wants to be excessed. Remember how you treated subs when you were in school? And..... excessing is not to get rid of teachers "not performing up to par"- it is done by seniority- the person teaching for the DOE for the least amount of time is the one to go---- it's very very sad.

Anonymous said...

I am one of those teachers in danger of being excessed and only because I am the one with the least seniority in my school. Not to toot my own horn, but I am a hard working teacher who is moving my students forward. I came out of the business world and decided to change careers 5 years ago. As a parent and an educator, these cuts are outrageous. You cannot equate educating our children to running a business. The powers that be don't seem to get that. It is a very sad situation.

Anonymous said...

The whole seniority-takes-precedence over performance in terms of excessing teachers is bad news. I'm sorry to hear this. I wish you all the best.

Anonymous said...

I am an excessed teacher who is performing above par. What an ignorant remark. In my school 11 teachers were excessed this year. Some with at least 5 years of experience, including lead grade teachers. I don't want to be sitting around doing nothing. I love teaching, I love my school. You need to realize that we were not cut for lack of performance. I am an extremely dedicated, hardworker, who would do just about anything for my students. In comparison to the teachers who show up to just collect their paychecks, that don't even care about the students. They get to stay because they have been teaching longer; how completely unfair. It is a really sad day for New York City students.

Anonymous said...

I am the 5:00 poster. I didn't mean to imply that excessed teachers are the ones not performing to par. To the contrary: what I meant to say was that teachers who perform under par should be the ones excessed(seniority or not). Sorry if it wasn't clear.

Lindsey said...

The whole excessing process is very sad for New York education in general and hundreds of teachers in particular (and it CAN be a waste of funds if the teachers in the reserve pool aren't put to work effectively, which sometimes they aren't). I think that the biggest travesty, however, is that many of the teachers who are excessed are the educators who have been in the classroom for two or three years. They are still energetic and excited to be teaching, but they aren't as green as a brand new teacher. Bloomberg and Klein champion the first-year teachers and the UFT champions the senior teachers. It is the educators with a few years of experience who are being excessed, and ironically these are the very teachers who are often the most effective in the classroom. Unfortunately, this unfair process may cause many talented teachers to give up on the profession all together. The UFT and the city need to come up with a better compromise.

Anonymous said...

5:00 - I agree - there NEEDS to be a way of getting rid of under-performing teachers (and that is a different topic than excessing, as you said, but one that this blog should explore at some point). Smaller class sizes DO make a difference - cutting teachers from certain schools to save money, only to keep them on elsewhere, doesn't seem like the right way to improve education for all of New York's children.

Anonymous said...

The whole process is unreal. There are a few teachers I know who are harding working, caring teachers who go out of their way to help their students and are now looking for new positions...

They are not lazy or twiddling their thumbs...

You go on the open market and see how fast you get a job without knowing someone. Also if your salary is high no one wants to pay you good or not...