Thursday, March 05, 2020
Class Size, ATRs, And Fair Student Funding
The City Council held a meeting on class size and advocates, like Class Size Matters, recommended that 1,000 additional teachers be hired to reduce class sizes. Interestingly, there are approximately 1,000 ATRs, who are already being paid.and they can be put back into the classroom to alleviate class sizes, without hiring new teachers and paying additional funds.
The reason that the ATRs have not been put back in the classroom is simply based upon the Bloomberg ideology that permeates the DOE policy making apparatus that Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellors Carmen Farina and Richard Carranza has failed to remove from office. The second reason is the 800 pound guerilla called school based Fair Student Funding that discriminates against veteran teachers since schools must pay for staff and since most ATRs are veteran teachers, principals will not hire them.
The City has a small pilot program that allows the worst schools to hire an ATR free of charge for as long as they stay in the school but has not expanded the program for all schools. Moreover, the De Blasio administration only funds the schools at 90% of their fair funding. No wonder principals try to save scarce funds by hiring the cheapest teachers and short change their school by having a bare bones support staff. Finally, ATRs who were accused of discipline issues are "red flagged" and principals are encouraged not to interview them for vacancies.
The bottom line, is the DOE does not need to spend more money to reduce class size since it's their Bloomberg ideology that leaves 1,000 ATRs without a classroom which can significantly reduce class sizes to the State average.