There are 120,000 tenured teachers across the rest of New York State, where 208 cases were settled during this time. In New York City, it is generally understood that approximately half of that amount, 60,000, enjoy the same protections. Yet it seems the amount of city teachers who have faced termination charges double. In fact, using these numbers, it becomes clear that city teachers during were at least 4.6 times more likely to face 3020-a charges than were teachers from across the rest of the state.
We can now see that between the years of 2009 and 2012 New York City spent the lion’s share of $32.8 million in state funds, running the state into a $19.7 million deficit in the process, to dutifully try to fire more than four times the amount of teachers as anywhere else in the state. Only two possible conclusions can be drawn from this realization: Either an astoundingly high amount of teachers here in the city are bad, or our employer, the city’s Department of Education, has zealously pursued a course to fire as many teachers as it can.
We believe the latter: That, instead of spending badly needed money on children and on schools during the depths of the recession, the department engaged in a zealous attempt to fire as many teachers as possible and used the state’s money -more than $19 million of which it did not have- to prosecute those attempts. We also believe this policy continues to today.
Former president Weingarten’s prediction was correct; the DOE has created a climate of fear and intimidation in our schools. This climate of fear has had an adverse effect on the working conditions of our colleagues and must end. We must establish an open environment of collaboration if we expect our teachers to excel. In addition, the department must direct as much money as possible to the actual classroom -to actual students- instead of using it in an attempt to fire teachers (at a rate at almost five times as frequent as other districts throughout the state) if they expect their schools -our schools- to be successful.
Of course it was Randi Weingarten and the Unity caucus who helped this process along greatly with all the contractual changes they agreed to in the infamous '05 contract.