"fair student funding formula" that has resulted in senior teachers not even getting interviews because of the budget constraints by this unfair funding method. Before the "fair student funding formula", teachers were units and the "best teachers" were recruited by the schools who were considered the most desirable. Included in this calculation for these "best teachers" was the neighborhood the school was located in, parking and transportation availability, and the school's reputation. Naturally, the schools who had the most to offer attracted the "best teachers". Along came Chancellor Joel Klein's "fair student funding formula" that in theory would allocate additional money to schools that have a high percentage of "high needs" students (Special Education, English Language Learners, and poverty). However, like all the Tweed inspired policies under the Bloomberg Administration, the "fair student funding formula" failed to allocate all the resources promised to these schools with "high needs" students. Instead the "fair student funding formula" has morphed into a restraint on principals who would want to hire experienced teachers since it would hurt the school's budget while not allocating the additional funds to those schools with "high needs" students.
The question is what happened to the money? While I do not pretend to know the answer since the DOE is not transparent about its funding and allocation mechanism, I can make an educated guess that a significant amount went to funding high-priced consultants and their suspect educational programs they peddle daily to the non-educators at Tweed. Furthermore, the near useless "Children First networks" siphon badly needed funds from schools and have numerous high-priced managers and ousted principals that contribute next to nothing to the classroom. Finally, the DOE is noted for its bloated central bureaucracy and it's no secret that badly needed school resources end up at Tweed to pay for their ever oversized headcount.
Why did our union allow the "fair student funding formula" to be implemented in the first place? It appears this was yet another miscalculation by Randi Wiengarten that given a "bill of goods" by Joel Klein, she fell for it only to see that it ends up hurting both the teachers and the students.
In conclusion, our union should only endorse a candidate who is committed and supports the elimination of the "fair student funding formula" that not only discriminates against the hiring of senior teachers but forces principals to hire the "cheapest" and not the "best teachers" for their school and that is what I call "students last....always" when schools are hamstrung by the unfair "fair student funding formula"
UFT Town Hall August 3, 2021
1 hour ago