What is the Mayor's response? He has proposed layoffs of City workers and more efficiencies in the government. Of course don't look for reductions in high-priced consultants or technology projects, instead there will be less resources available and of course, a continuation of a salary freeze. While I do not have the knowledge of how to close the entire budget gap, I do know how he can put a significant dent into it and that is placing ATRs into the many vacancies that are available,
Starting the 2012-13 school year, there will be approximately 2,000 ATRS, despite the DOE's claim of less. That means that even if some of them get hired provisionally, you can still expect over 1,000 ATRs floating around for the year. That means that $165 million dollars, not including fringe benefits, will be wasted by the City in paying those ATRs when vacancies are being covered by long and short term substitute teachers. Therefore, if the Mayor is truly serious about saving money and close the budget gap, he should start by ordering the DOE to start placing ATRs in the vacancies.
I do wonder why our union has not brought this up publicly as a cost-saving method to close the City budget gap? It would seem obvious to me that this proposal is a public relations win for the union and puts the Mayor on the defensive but then again our union's actions or inaction are sometimes part of the problem and not the solution. In any case, if the Mayor is looking for "efficiency" the effective use of ATRs by placing them in the vacancies is as efficient as it gets.