Sunday, August 25, 2019
Will The ATR Pool Change?
It's another year and while Chancellor Richard Carranza has made some administrative changes at the DOE, he has made no real changes when it comes to the ATR pool. The DOE has tried to encourage principals to hire ATRs but since most ATRs are older and in the higher salary range, averaging over $98,000 annually, schools do not want to take on the hefty salaries associated with the ATRs.
Sure, the DOE has tried to set up an ATR hiring program like paying for the ATR's salary the first year, one half their salary the second year, and one quarter their salary the third year. However, principals are not stupid and realizes that by the fourth year the school would be responsible for the full salary of the hired ATR.
Moreover, the DOE told principals that if they hired sn ATR to permanently fill a vacancy and they achieve an effective rating, they must hire the ATR,. However, there is a loophole wide enough to drive a truck through if a savvy Principal knows how to manipulate the system and many do. The loophole would allow the school to refuse to permanently hire the ATR and hire a cheaper alternative.
The DOE got so desperate in trying to reduce the ATR pool that every other year they offer ATRs $50,000 to resign or retire but only 170 ATRs took the offer and those ATRs who take the DOE incentive are probably resigning or retiring anyway. With more schools closing or downsizing and teachers who win their 3020-a hearings the ATRs are replaced by others.
One small change is that the DOE will no longer use the $2,000 fine or 30 day suspension limit to automatically put the educator in the ATR pool. .Teachers, unless they are considered a threat to students, will be sent back to their school, regardless of their or the Principal's wishes. This change is expected to help reduce the ATR pool. In addition, there will no longer be field supervisors who evaluate ATRs but the school principals will evaluate the ATRs
The result is that the ATR pool has remained relatively stable of around 1,200 over the last few years, despite the above DOE programs and the incentives.
Until the school-based fair student funding is changed and the DOE penalizes principals who refuse to hire ATRs, nothing will change and that includes the ATR pool,