rubber rooms

rubber rooms

NYC Teachers are Paid to Migrate from School to School

new york city department of educationCan you imagine waking up every Monday morning and reporting to a different building each week to do your job? Your job might even change on a weekly basis: one week you could be working in the sciences and the next you might be filling out paperwork. However, you would still be considered a full-time employee for the DOE’s ATR and you would still receive your full salary. It sounds like the life of a super-secret-agent to me, but for the teachers who work for the Department of Education’s Absent Teacher Reserve, it is just another day at the job.

Each week, hundreds of teachers in New York City go through this routine. As a mentioned before, these nomadic teachers receive their full salaries not to teach their normal jobs, but to work as substitutes at different schools throughout the New York Public School District. Many of these teachers were “excessed” due to budget cuts, but some have escaped from the “rubber rooms,” where teachers are sent as punishment for “excessive lateness or absence, sexual misconduct with a [minor], physical abuse, incompetence or use of drugs or alcohol.”

Up until October 2011, ATR teachers would remain at one school for the entire school term. If they did a good enough job, the principal could decide to hire them. But now, the teachers move from school to school on a weekly basis because the United Federation of Teachers signed a deal with the DOE to make the change. The United Federation of Teachers claims that teachers will have a better chance of finding a job by changing schools each week because they will be meeting more new potential bosses.

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