The real question is how much does the average 3020-a process cost? Based upon some numbers floated around by both the DOE and UFT it appears to average $250,000 for a teacher to complete a 3020-a hearing. This number can be lower or higher depending on how many specifications (charges) Tweed files against a teacher. For example some teacher incompetence cases can take an entire school year or more just to go through the specifications against the teacher. While I cannot confirm the $250,000 value, it does appear reasonable when you work through the numbers. For example lets assume the following is true.
- Teacher salary $75,000/yr and averages two years out of the classroom.
- Arbitrator's salary $1,700/Dy and averages 20 days per hearing.
- NYSUT attorney's salary of $80,000/'yr and averages 4 months
- DOE's lawyer salary $75,000/yr and averages 4 months
- Transportation (usually a limo service) & food for DOE witnesses. about $4,000
In the ongoing severe budget crises the DOE can save much money and bring fairness to the system by hiring an independent mediator to evaluate whether a teacher should be removed from the classroom rather than the existing DOE kangaroo court/investigative process that almost always takes the Principal's side and files 3020-a charges against the hapless teacher and, of course, wastes precious education funds just to file 3020-a charges that usually does not end up in the teacher's termination.