There is no doubt that the DOE must reduce their administrative costs but don't be surprised if the majority of cuts come from the schools and classrooms. Susan Edelman of the New York Post wrote a very insightful article that explains where the cuts should come from. However, look for the majority of education budget cuts to come from the schools.
The latest update (Sunday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
The DOE has quietly informed principals that the hiring freeze has loopholes and they can still hire Special Education, Bilingual, and shortage areas like Math and Science. Look for principals to hire "newbies" by falsely claiming that all the hires are either certified in those fields or in the process of attaining such certification.
As for ATRs? Look for principals to try their hardest to carve out exceptions to the hiring freeze so as not to hire an ATR for their vacancies. Will the union leadership make sure that principals follow the rules? Based on past performance by our union leadership I highly doubt it since they get double dues.by keeping the ATR and the "newbie" they hire.
The latest update (Friday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
There has been no decision whether NYS will have a summer school program since neither the State or City government will have funds to pay for the programs. However, for Special Education programs in District 75, it appears that the Chapter 683 program will be continued this summer, be it remote learning or actual classroom instruction.
Chapter 683 is a federally funded program that pays Special Education schools to provide year-round instruction. In New York City it is District 75 schools who provide instruction for the most severely disabled students in the New York City Public Schools.
Chapter 683 pays eligible educators 17.5% of their annual salary and it's pensionable. The program usually starts before Independence Day (July 4th) and ends no later than August 15th. Educators get two absence days and if the educator does not use them, they go into the educator's Cumulative Absence Reserve (CAR) .
Note: Some community advocates want the DOE to pass all students, regardless if they participate in remote learning. You can read it Here.
The latest update (Thursday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
Mayor Bill de Blasio told reporters who questioned him on what children will do in the summer if the pools and playgrounds are closed. His response was that he and Chancellor Richard Carranza are working on remote learning programs to entertain the children. What an idiot the Mayor is.
Most NYC children live in old apartment buildings, many with no air conditioning or can't afford the bills by running the air conditioner all day. Even during the school year, only 77% of the teenagers actually logged in for attendance and even less who actually participated in instruction. The probable result is that many streets will have open fire hydrants and teenagers climbing fences to play basketball or using playground equipment. Other bored teenagers will be up to no good like street crimes and assaulting each other.
It appears most UFT members who have died from COVID-19 are from the Bronx or Brooklyn which is primary minority and have high density housing. Moreover, they tend to use mass transit as their mode of transportation. Finally, these two boroughs have higher percentages of health issues.
The latest update (Monday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
The just released drastic cuts in the City budget by Mayor Bill de Blasio includes a hiring freeze of educators except schools can hire ATRs for their vacancies. Since each year the New York City public schools needs to hire between 4 to 5 thousand teachers and there are one thousand ATRs, it would seem that, except for Art, Music, and Gym teachers the rest of the ATRs should be placed. Here is what UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the New York Post.
That means that there still will be a reduction in teachers and more overcrowded classrooms unless the Mayor rescinds the hiring freeze. I expect the union leadership will be unhappy since less teachers means less dues. Moreover, by placing the ATRs in vacancies the union no longer will be getting double dues. Finally, there are some principals who will refuse to hire ATRw in the mistaken belief that the ATRs are inferior teachers and will either try to seek a waiver from the hiring freeze or steal another school's teacher. We will see if the Mayor and Chancellor will keep the hiring freeze ironclad.
The Mayor's proposed budget can be found on James Eterno's ICEUFT blog.
The latest update (Saturday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
At least 47 school based adults, including 3 school safety officers, have died and it is highly likely that the Mayor and Chancellor's resistance in closing the schools could have resulted in unnecessary deaths. Fortunately, the coronavirus seems not to adversely affect school age students but they are carriers to their adult relatives and school based personnel and contributed to the rapid spread of the virus in New York City. One doctor believes that 80% of the children in the City are carriers of the coronavirus.
The DOE, under intense pressure, finally released the death count of
DOE employees and it has totaled 50 so far with more to come. Of the 50
employees at least 44 were UFT members, including 21 teachers, 22
paraprofessionals, and one guidance counselor. .Of course there is no
way of knowing how many became sick because the City refused to close
schools earlier, Read the entire New York Post article Here.
The latest update (Thursday) of the covid-19 count can be found below.
Read theopinion article from a parent about the problems in remote learning.Moreover,
teachers no longer trust Mayor Bill de Blasio and Chancellor Richard
Carranza who delayed closing schools and have blood on their hands read
UFT President Michael Mulgrew told the Executive Board that 26 UFT members have died due to the coronavirus and I expect more to follow before the pandemic is over. How many UFT members became sick because Mayor Bill de Blaio failed to close schools the week before he did and then forced teachers into potentially contaminated buildings the next week, is unknown?
While the Mayor and Governor are optimistic that the curve is flattening, it's still going up and the increasing death percentage is very disturbing. The latest numbers, as of Friday evening are as follows:
The NYSED has officially cancelled the high school Regents exams on Tuesday and we give school districts flexibility how to evaluate teachers Here. For high achieving students this is not a problem since they took all
their Regents before their senior year but for many New York City
students they still must take their Regents exams in their senior year
and cancelling the Regents obviously affects low achieving studentsdisproportionally, especially minority students.
It now appears that if schools open at all, it wouldn't be to Mid May at the earliest. My best guess is that schools will probably open after Memorial day weekend.
Many high school teachers uses Zoom to connect with their classroom students. They use zoom for it's simplicity and the ease of use for all involved. Moreover, Zoom can be connected by cellphone as well. However, the DOE zapped Zoom because it claims that it violates student and teacher privacy issues and can be hacked. This is the very same DOE who saw no problem to give charter schools and outside data gathering organizations student personal data without parent approval, so they can use that information to their advantage.
The DOE needs to make things more difficult for both students and teachers rather then come up with a simplified plan to make remote learning easier.
In New York City the coronavirus infected is now 67,551 with the death total raised to 2,450 or 3.6% while the State numbers are 122,031 and the death rate is 4,159 and a mortality rate of 3.4%
It appears the Mayor and the Chancellor have agreed on compensation. For the seven day Easter/Passover vacation, the City will give everybody four CAR days. If the teachers are teaching remote learning all those days then why aren't they getting seven CAR days?
Obviously, if UFT members would vote on the compensation deal it would be rejected overwhelmingly. However, our union leadership has no intention to let the members vote and embarrass the City. In return for the four CAR days the teachers give up their entire Easter vacation, including Thursday and Friday April 9th and 10th.
Will the UFT sue the City for additional compensation? Maybe and maybe not, we'll see.
Mayor Bill de Blasio refused to close down New York City and it took Governor Andrew Cuomo to do so. First, the Mayor didn't want the schools closed and even forced teachers to show up in potential cronavirus contaminated school buildings the next week. Second, he refused to close Broadway shows and the Governor had to shut the shows down. Third, the Mayor tried to keep playgrounds open and the Governor allowed the Mayor to supervise but after a couple of days the Governor authorized the closure of all NYC playgrounds.
As of Thursday night the people infected by the coronavirus in New York City is 57,159 while the deaths ire 1,867, that is a 3.3% mortality rate. New York State had 102,863 and deaths of 2,935 or a fatality rate of 2.9%
Governor Andrew Cuomo cancelled Easter vacation for schools throughout New York State and now New York City teachers only will get April 9th (Holy Thursday) and April 10th (Good Friday) off. The next week will be some form of professional development that will be negotiated between our union and the DOE. This is effectively a 2% pay cut due to the extra days added to the school calendar.
More bad news, the New York City death toll due to the coronavirus is now 1,096 and the total infected is 41,771. The death rate is now 2.6% of the total infected in New York City. This is an increase from 2.4% yesterday and that is a concern. Read the New York Post article Here.
New York State has 83,712 people infected by the coronavirus as of Wednesday morning and 1,941 deaths which is a 2.3% mortality rate.