In today's New York Post, Susan Edeleman published data that showed that under Bill de Blasio teacher terminations dropped, when compared to the final year of the Michael Bloomberg administration. If one looked simply at the numbers, Ms. Edelman is correct. However, if one looked deeper into the numbers they would find that many senior teachers, eligible for retirement, took a deal to retire rather than fight the 3020-a charges and risk losing up to $50,000 of retro money owed to them, thanks to the 2014 teacher's contract.
According to the article last year there was 127 educators who went through their 3020-a hearings and only 34 resulted in termination, or 27% Compare that to the 2012-13 school year when 55 of 122 were terminated, or 45%. I suspect the numbers are accurate but it does not tell the entire story. In fact, 3020-a charges remain high during the Bill de Blasio Mayoralty.
The total amount of educators who went through their 3020-a hearings were basically the same for the two years, 127 under De Blasio and 122 under Bloomberg. Only the amount of terminations were different, 27 under De Blasio compared to 45 under Bloomberg. . Critics claim the difference is due to sloppy prosecutions, weak cases, and Bill de Blasio's closeness to the teacher's union. However, the real reason is the 2014 teacher's contract.
The 2014 teacher's contract had some very unique features in it. For example, all the retroactive raises and lump sum payments were paid out in drips and drabs and members will not be made whole until 2020. Moreover, educators who resigned, died, or were terminated would no longer get their money owed to them. Consequently, many senior teachers were unwilling to go through their 3020-a hearings if they thought termination was a possibility,
The simple fact that senior teachers, eligible to retire, decided to settle their cases by irrevocably retiring, rather then lose up to $50,000 in retro and lump sum payments and since the DOE saves up to $100,000 or more by settling cases, its a win for the DOE. They get rid of the educator for good and don't need to pay the financial costs of a full blown 3020--a hearing. Of the 184 educators who took a settlement, I suspect that many, if not most of them, irrevocably retired due to the fear of being terminated and losing a significant sum of money and that's why there were less terminations under Bill de Blasio than Michael Bloomberg, thanks to the 2014 teacher's contract.