Absent, With Pay

The Story

Hundreds of tenured teachers in New York City’s school system have been removed from classrooms for incompetence or misconduct but remain on the municipal payroll, sometimes for years. A strong teachers’ union, which plays a large role in fundraising for and electing the city’s political class, makes it nearly impossible to fire these teachers, whom no principal wants to hire. Now the de Blasio administration is trying to force the absentee teachers back into classrooms. A rational system would put the interests of children first and allow the city to fire bad teachers.

The Facts You Need to Know

  1. Neediest: Teachers from the Absent Teacher Reserve will likely wind up in lower-performing schools, where students are most in need of good teachers. Read more.

  2. Contradiction: Despite claims that the reserve teachers are competent, the administration has agreed not to send them to the very neediest “renewal schools.” Read more.

  3. Full Pay: The ATR costs New York City $150 million annually–enough to fund a full-time guidance counselor in almost every city school. Read more.

“The data confirms parent concerns: a third of the ATRs have disciplinary issues, many are ineffective, and a jaw-dropping 25% haven't been able to get a job for at least six years.”

Jenny Sedlis, StudentsFirstNY Executive Director

Twitter Take

The Past is Present

“The union blames poor schools on low teacher pay, which drives away qualified teachers. It’s a purely political myth.”

What We're Reading

Check out City Journal‘s New York City Symposium:
After New York’s Mayoral Election
Taking stock of the challenges facing New York City in a second de Blasio term


And in other news...

“Senator Robert Menendez wasted no time in sending a warning shot to his political adversaries after being freed — for now — from bribery charges.”