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Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Military to Recruit Rubber Room Teachers, ATR’s

October 3, 2007 (GBN News): The New York City Department of Education is embroiled in another military recruiting controversy today, this time over the solicitation of ATR’s and teachers assigned to “Rubber Rooms”. ATR’s are experienced teachers who have been excessed from their previous position. No longer given priority for another teaching post, they must substitute teach while trying to find a position on their own in what is termed an “Open Market” system. Teachers in Rubber Rooms have been removed from their classrooms after being accused of various and often unspecified forms of malfeasance. The recruitment of these teachers appears to be a marriage of convenience between the DOE, which would like to unburden itself of teachers that it considers a “problem”, and the military, which has had increasing difficulty filling its ranks during an unpopular war.

GBN news has learned that the upsurge in teacher recruiting by the military arose out of a meeting between Chancellor Joel Klein and President Bush during UN week. The Chancellor, according to GBN News sources, approached the President with an offer to allow military recruiters into reassignment centers, and to provide them with lists of ATR's. The President, reportedly impressed with Mr. Klein’s “patriotism”, even consented to raise the maximum enlistment age, in order to accommodate some of the more senior teachers who, the Chancellor is said to feel, are holding back his school reforms.

When reached for comment, Chancellor Klein told GBN News that the new recruiting policy should be “really popular with the teachers”, since it will “greatly expand their range of options under the Open Market system”. He also expressed the hope that being in the military will “straighten out those misfits” in the rubber rooms. The Chancellor even left open the possibility that, after completion of their military service, the teachers could be hired back as school security officers whereby they could “prove themselves useful by confiscating cell phones.”

In a related story, President Bush announced a new health insurance plan designed to maintain health coverage for people who are excessed from their jobs. The plan would place all such former employees under the U.S. Armed Forces health plan, and would cover them at no cost to the employee. There would, however, be a work requirement similar to that for people on Public Assistance. Work assignments will be provided through a contract with Blackwater USA, and may require relocation.

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