In New York City, more than 1,000 teachers who are not assigned to classrooms sit in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR) pool. So-called ATR teachers receive full-time salaries even after they have been removed from the classroom for ineffective teaching or enrollment changes in their schools. These ATR teachers cost NYC taxpayers $100 million a year.
Mayor de Blasio promised to dramatically reduce the ATR pool two years ago without forcing these ineffective teachers into classrooms. But two years later, parents have no information about whether ineffective ATR teachers are in their schools. Parents even filed a freedom of information request five months ago, but have still not gotten answers.
Parents like Camille from Brooklyn deserve details. Camille moved her daughter to three different schools in search of a quality teacher. Year-to-year, she doesn’t know whether her daughter will have a great teacher – and she’s not alone. Families in communities across the city, especially from low-income neighborhoods, often have schools that are burdened with ineffective teachers. That’s not right.
New York City families deserve better. It’s time for Mayor de Blasio to stop placing ineffective ATR teachers in schools and tell parents the truth about who is being assigned to their classrooms.