Friday, July 28, 2017
The DOE Tries To Lowball The ATR Pool Number And Costs As The ATR Buyout, Once Again, Fails.
The Independent Budget Office (IBO) crunched the numbers dealing with the ATR pool and found that the DOE spend $151.6 million dollars on the ATR pool as of October 2016. This is over 50% more than the DOE supplied figure of $100 million dollars that is sent to the media. Moreover, the IBO report uses the actual ATR number of 1,304 and not the 822 that the DOE and UFT use to show a fictitious reduction in the ATR pool. Every knowledgeable educator knows that, once the long-term leave replacements and provisional hires are sent back to the ATR pool during the summer, the ATR pool will be back at the 1,300 member level.
The IBO report stated that the average ATR costs the DOE $116,258, including fringe benefits. If we assume that fringe benefits to be 22% of the $116, 258 value. That means the fringe benefits are worth approximately $25,577. Therefore, that means the average ATR salary in the pool is $90,681 as of October of 2016. To have a $90,000 salary, the average ATR would have to have 18 years in the system and are obviously, senior teachers.
Interestingly, Chalkbeat interviewed education professor David Bloomfeld who said the following:
He noted that the ATR is a problem inherited by Mayor Bill de Blasio from former Mayor Michael Bloomberg — and not an easy one to solve. Still, he added, if the city is already paying as much as $151.6 million, it should consider instead passing a buyout plan with higher incentives for teachers than the $50,000 in severance pay the city is currently offering.
I cannot agree with Mr. Bloomfeld more. Maybe after this ATR buyout is officially deemed a failure and principals find ways not to hire veteran ATRs thus upcoming school year, the DOE will actually come out with a buyout incentive that ATRs could take and really reduce the ATR pool. Of course, I'm not holding my breath for that to happen.
For the record, the DOE should have an ATR buyout of a minimum of one year of salary along with a year of pension credit for the incentive to get ATRs to retire.