November 11, 2008

Grand théâtre

Just in case people missed Klein's Nov. 6th Letter to Principals on the latest round of cuts he's making (1.3% to school budgets), here are some excerpts from it that were passed around by the Bronx UFT.

"While your school budget will be reduced by a relatively small amount, you will also be affected by reductions to DOE budgets and staffs, which provide direct services to schools. For example we will:
"Reduce the cost of grading math and English language arts state assessments (we will be getting you new scoring procedures shortly). [Why not.]

"Reduce the headcount at central and the Integrated Service Centers, which will reduce the level of service and support you receive. [I guess there'll be no one left to place ATRs anymore. LOL]

"Limit summer school to students who are mandated for summer school service. [Bring your own toilet paper, and when he says "rest assured" that the schools will remain safe, try to overlook the fact that there's not a thing this guy has ever restructured, assessed, negotiated, budgeted, planned for, or promised that has actually worked out. And don't bother calling ISC either if something needs fixing, because there'll be no staff over there answering the phones.]

"We will also change the way we charge you for ATRs. Beginning on November 17, you must use the ATRs assigned to you as substitute teachers and you will be charged accordingly. We will be sending you more information on this change in the coming days. [This doesn't apply to me. I've already been subbing for a year and half while way newer teachers got all the jobs.]

"Unfortunately, we will also need to eliminate the School Excellence Awards for schools that received A's on their Progress Reports and "Well Developed" scores on their Quality Reviews. (This does not affect schoolwide performance bonuses for UFT members or principal bonuses.) [Those awards didn't mean much anyway, just admit it.]"

It's starting to feel like une tragicomédie spectaculaire over there at Tweed — énorme et exceptionellement perverse.


  1. Very interesting. I wonder how much cuts from the ISC vs, Tweed.

    Can you clarify how the ATR's are charged to the schools?

  2. I know roughly how they are charged now, but don't know what changes will be made. I'm sure you know these because I've written about this before, but just in case, I've been told that:

    If your program has been cut but the school exists, you stay on principal's budget.

    If your school has been closed, Central pays for you in whichever school you end up in as long as you remain an ATR; if the new school actually hires you — as opposed to using you but keeping you in ATR status — then you go onto its budget like every other hire.

    If you are sent to the rubber room, you remain on school's budget for 60 days, then transferred over to Central. That seemed like a new tool principal's could use to trim budgets, and I said so at a Del. Assembly months ago. To me, it's scary, but I hear from district reps it's not being done. Maybe they'll start doing it now, once there's more pressure to save money where they can.