Scrivener.net

Sunday, June 28, 2009

How much does a "rubber room" of NYC public school teachers cost?

More than $65 million a year...

637 AT SCHOOLS GET 'IDLE'-IZED
43 SEX RAPS, 45 'INCOMPETENTS'

New York City high school teacher George Addison has pocketed almost $500,000 in taxpayer-funded paychecks over the last six years -- and hasn't taught a single class. Accused of fondling a 15-year-old special-ed pupil, the veteran computer teacher has been twiddling his thumbs in a "rubber room" since 2003 ...

Addison, who has also been investigated twice for corporal punishment during his 12-year career, collects a $79,531-per-year salary for sitting in one of the city's seven "teacher reassignment centers" -- or "rubber rooms" -- while he waits for his case to wind through the backlogged disciplinary system.

Other school employees have languished even longer in the Department of Education's purgatory, which costs taxpayers $65 million annually just for staffers' salaries ... [not including of the cost of one of the world's greatest benefit-and-retirement packages that these teachers keep "earning".]

Rubber-room denizens include 43 employees charged with sex-related offenses, including 14 for relationships with students, the data shows. Another 140 were accused of employee misconduct, 117 of corporal punishment and 45 for incompetence. More than 100 were banished after being arrested.

The DOE can suspend a teacher's pay in rare circumstances, but most continue to collect checks...

During a typical day, rubber roomies show up at their assigned center by 8:15 a.m. They come and go outside as they please, and go home at around 3 p.m ... [NY Post]
For any who may wonder how this can be, a former NYC public school teacher explained how the entire sorry system works.

As to other news of the schools and their unions this past week...

In what the Mayor and union spun as good news, the teachers union made modest pension concessions -- but took them out of the skin of the students by getting two more days added to their paid summer vacation, the days just before the opening of school when they prepared for classes.

Stunned principals reacted with horror Tuesday after the city agreed to have teachers return from summer break on the same day as students ....

"Do parents want their children coming into rooms where furniture is stacked up and materials packed away?" said Principal Elizabeth Phillips at Public School 321 in Brooklyn. ... Principals union President Ernest Logan said he was "dismayed" after fielding calls from angry principals "all day long."...

United Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten said she was not to blame ... [NYDN, more details]

Even the NY Times, which normally resides in the schools unions' pocket, stuck its head out far enough to run a story including criticism of the deal. Although that might be explained by the reaction of the principals' union, "The principalsí union protest set off a spat with the 228,000-member teachersí union", which left the Times to cope with a conflict of unions. (Yes, the NYC public schools management is unionized, one more part of the problem.)

But the teachers union showed it can at least teach somebody...

UFT TEACHES POL A LESSON

It's payback time for the powerful UFT. The United Federation of Teachers blocked City Councilman Simcha Felder (D-Brooklyn) from receiving an "early endorsement" from the 1.3 million-member Central Labor Council to get even with him for exposing the union's arm-twisting during a City Hall hearing on charter schools, sources said.

Felder disclosed that union reps brazenly distributed cue cards with prepared questions that legislators were supposed to ask at the April hearing. Union witnesses got the softball questions. The tough queries went to administration officials ...

"To me, it's a badge of honor," Felder said. "I think a lot of the leadership in the unions are ripping off members for their own benefit, and I don't want to have anything to do with it."... [NY Post]