Over the last decade it has been no secret that the Bloomberg Administration has made a point in trying to destroy and close down the large comprehensive high schools in the City and has unfortunately succeeded very well in achieving this goal. Even the few comprehensive large high schools that have survived are still targets, remember the turnaround school fiasco?. Now we find out that the DOE has apparently shortchanged the large comprehensive schools of much needed resources while still fully funded the Bloomberg small schools. That required the large comprehensive high schools to cut services, be it staff, after school programs, or services.
One of the services that has been eliminated was the teacher cafeteria food service. In the Borough of Queens there are only two high schools that still have teacher cafeteria food service Some schools like Bayside High School have not only closed their teacher cafeteria food service but eliminated the teacher cafeteria entirely. Now you might think that the elimination of the teacher cafeteria food service is no big deal and saves much needed school resources in an ever tightening school budget. However, the elimination of the teacher cafeteria food service has had a demoralizing effect on school staff. For teachers, it meant that they would need to bring in their lunch since they only have 45 minutes for lunch and going out of the school to get something to eat is out of the question. Therefore, many teachers waited for their school day to end before getting something to eat and lacked the energy to effectively teach their late classes. Moreover, the teacher's cafeteria allowed the teachers from different departments to interact in a casual setting and exchange information and gossip about the school. Finally, the teacher's cafeteria food was nutritious and reasonably priced, this allowed teachers not only to socialize with each other but to restore much needed energy into their bodies to be a more effective teacher for the afternoon.
While to many the loss of the teachers cafeteria food service may not be a big issue. However, for the staff at the large comprehensive high schools it is a symptom of the thousand small cuts that eventually destroys the school and the education with it and that is a real shame.
UFT Delegate Assembly October 18, 1017
9 hours ago