There are more than 1,000 teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve (ATR), costing New York City $144 million a year. Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña must close this pool of teachers.
Dan Wesiberg, executive vice president of TNTP, writes an opinion piece for the New York Post discussing various solutions to this problem.
According to the opinion piece, Mayor de Blasio is considering forcing the teachers back into schools. Wesiberg argues that this would be harmful to principals, teachers, and students:
Everyone loses if ATR teachers are forced into schools. Teachers won’t have a say in where they work. Principals will be denied the ability to hire their own staff. Most importantly, students — particularly in lower-income neighborhoods where teaching positions are hardest to fill — will be hit by an influx of ineffective teachers.
Wesiberg continues to offer a more effective alternative:
There’s a better way to solve the ATR problem. The city and the teachers union should agree to reasonable time limits for teachers to remain in the ATR at full pay — six or 12 months, perhaps — after which teachers who can’t land one of the 5,000 positions that open up across the city every year would be released. (These teachers would be allowed to return to their previous salary and seniority level if they secure a position later.)