Friday, April 22, 2016
Michael Bloomberg's Legacy, Large Class Sizes And More Administrators.
The Empire Center For Public Policy has reported that since 2001 the numbers of students fell 8.6% in the New York City while staffing increased by 3.2%. Some of the increase is due to federal and State Special Education mandates requiring additional resources and self-contained classrooms. Especially the ever expanding District 75 program that has teacher to student ratios ranging from 6:1 to 12:1 classrooms.
Interestingly, despite the increased self-contained classroom requirements, teacher staffing only increased by only 1.7%. By contrast, there was an increase of 12.3% by non-teaching staff. The vast majority were Principals and Assistant Principals who increased by 1,100. The increase in school administrators can be traced to the closing of the large comprehensive schools and the creating of the Bloomberg small schools in their place.
The large comprehensive school had one Principal and six to eight Assistant Principals who oversaw 2,000 to 3,000 students. In its place are four to six small schools with an average size of 450 students. Each school has a Principal and at least two Assistant Principals or a minimum of twelve to sixteen administrators and probably higher. The result are the small schools are top heavy on Administrator salaries compared to the closed large school.
Add the top heavy administrators to the major reductions the Mayor imposed on the schools through the Fair Student Funding (fsf) which saw schools receive 100% of the fsf in 2007 fall to 86% on the average by 2012. A 14% reduction. Worse the large comprehensive schools saw the largest reductions with some schools only receiving 80% of their fsf while the newer Bloomberg small schools received 100+% to ensure their success. While the De Blasio Administration has slowly increased the average fsf to 89%, that is still 11% below the fsf despite the City havings a 6 billion dollar budget surplus.
How did schools pay for their top heavy administrators? They increased class sizes and hired the most inexpensive teachers they could find, even if they were not certified in the subject they were hired to teach in. According to UFT President, Michael Mulgrew, half of all Math and Science teachers are not tenured and many aren't even certified! There has been a 25% increase in Special Education services and the inclusion program with many ICT classes having excessive class sizes. Costing the DOE and the schools even more money.
The legacy of Mayor Michael Bloomberg can be summed up with ever increasing large class sizes, tight school budgets, and a funding formula that penalizes principals who hire veteran teachers. Add to that with the over staffing of school administrators and it ends up to be "a rob Peter to pay Paul" scenario as schools are forced to cut corners and retard student academic achievement.