Education

N.Y.C.'s Absent-Teacher Reserve Pool Grows

By Stephen Sawchuk — July 31, 2009 1 min read

The New York Post has a good roundup of the latest in New York City’s Absent-Teacher Reserve pool, if you can overlook the somewhat sensational headline.

In essence, the economy has forced schools to “excess” hundreds more teachers, which means they enter the ATR. They continue to pull down salaries despite lacking a fixed teaching position.

So, although about 700 ATR teachers have found placements, the influx of new teachers means that the total pool is up to 2,400 from about 1,100 in April, the newspaper reports.

Created as a byproduct of a decision to allow principals to hand-pick teachers rather than having the central office “slot” them into schools, the ATR has given way to some delicate new problems that have no clear solution.

On the one hand, these teachers—at least in theory—weren’t removed due to poor performance, so the union is hesitant to accede to demands to drop them from the payroll. On the other hand, it surely does no one any good to have them draw down salaries indefinitely. (Some of the teachers do work part-time, but there is no official policy requiring them to seek new positions.)

What solution will the city education department and new United Federation of Teachers head, Michael Mulgrew, come up with?

Stay tuned...

A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.