Recent news reports have focused on the fact that over 1,400 teachers are sitting in Absent Teacher Reserve – paid their regular salaries but assigned to no regular classroom duties. These teachers have been "excessed" through no fault of their own, but because their schools have been closed or restructured.
This represents an incredible waste of millions of dollars – not to mention manpower.
Meanwhile, our students continue to be crammed into the largest classes in the state and some of the largest in the country. I received the following letter from a retired teacher: why not offer these teachers to principals, free of charge, to reduce class size?
Dear Ms. Haimson,
Your group is to be commended for seeking to lower class sizes.
The Department of Education is missing a golden opportunity to do this. Why not take the 1,400 excessed teachers and use them to lower class size? This would make a lot of sense. Instead, these people are being used as day to day substitutes. These teachers, many of whom are teaching for 20+ years, did not get master's degrees and give the best years of their lives in education to be relegated to substitute status.
At first, the public was lied to by the city. The public was told that these teachers were incompetent. This is not true. These teachers received satisfactory ratings and were excessed due to the drop in student population. Next, the chancellor has the nerve to chide these people for not looking for positions. They did look. No principal would hire them since their teaching experience would allow for them to be at a higher salary.
This refusal to do anything for these affected pedagogues is a disgrace beyond belief.
I am a retired teacher. It was my pleasure to have worked with 3 such people at IS 228 in
Shame on the
Ed M. Greenspan, retired teacher,