Thursday, March 13, 2008
Yet Another Nasty DOE Surprise & Randi Is Shocked
In the New York Daily News today was an article that talked about how the DOE will cut their budget by 5% for the 2008-09 school year. Apparently, two of the three options concern the Joel Klein supported "Fair Student Funding" (FSF) program.
For you readers that are not familiar to the FSF program. The FSF program assigns money to each student and allows the principal to control the school budget, based upon the FSF program. The good part of this program is that more money is attached to high-need students and schools. However, less money is assigned to high preforming students. Therefore, school budgets in the better schools will be reduced under FSF. The use of the FSF program puts budget pressure on the schools, especially the better schools, and has many deficiencies. However, the real cost under FSF will be the elimination of highly-paid, experienced teachers in many schools.
A deal that Randi Weingarten worked out with Joel Klein would allow schools to hire highly-paid veteran teachers without penalty to the school budget for the 2008-09 school year. However, for the 2009-10 school year and beyond the school budget would be penalized if too many highly-paid veteran teachers were on that school's payroll. Why worry? That's when Kleinberg will be a lame duck and a more teacher friendly DOE will soon emerge. Surprise, surprise, the DOE is seriously considering reneging on the deal with the UFT. What else is new? This blog has pointed out how almost on a monthly basis Randi is shocked by the agreements the DOE has worked out with the UFT, only to have Tweed ignore or renege on those agreements.
If the FSF program is implemented without the UFT negotiated agreements, look for an explosion of highly paid ATR's. Why would a principal hire a highly paid teacher when he could get two newbie teachers for the same price? Further, by not hiring these highly paid teachers the principal will have more money in the school budget to fund his/her pet projects. What about the children? Wouldn't a quality teacher in the classroom be the most important item for student learning? Most educators would think so. However, in this DOE it is all about the money.
Remember it is not children first, it's children last in the Kleinberg DOE.