Laid Off NYC Teachers Rush to Find Other Jobs Due to Controversial Budget Cuts - The Jewish Voice
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Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Laid Off NYC Teachers Rush to Find Other Jobs Due to Controversial Budget Cuts

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Laid Off NYC Teachers Rush to Find Other Jobs Due to Controversial Budget Cuts

By Hadassa Kalatizadeh 

The controversial budget cuts at New York City schools have left laid off teachers frantically searching for available jobs at other schools.

The new positions, found in desperation, are not always a great fit.  As reported by the NY Post, at a Brooklyn elementary school, two teachers who were laid off from their positions were accepted for other available jobs at the school’s bilingual program for English and Spanish learners in kindergarten.  The switch is less than ideal, being that neither of the two teachers speaks Spanish.  “It’s not uncommon for people to teach out of placement,” said another teacher in the program. “But it is uncommon to teach a dual language program and not speak Spanish.”   The source noted that the school’s principal had decided to keep displaced teachers from having to leave the school.  “The principal is being forced into this position. I don’t believe the principal is intentionally undermining this program,” she added.

In another school in Park Slope, music teacher Paul Trust was let go.  “As things stand, there’s going to be no music program next year,” said Trust, a teacher since 2005, who had been at the school since 2009. “I don’t know if the school has ever not had a music program.”  He told The Post that he had just bought new percussion instruments for a “Drums Around the World” course he was planning for the Fall when he and the other music instructor were told they were being laid off.  Trust is looking for a position in another school.  “There seems like a lot of candidates for very few positions because of this budget situation … And the arts are always the first thing to go.”

NYC schools have faced lower enrollment which led to budget cuts in which teachers are being let go.  Per the Post, City Department of Education officials would not respond as to how many teachers were recently let go, only saying that it is similar to previous years.  The DOE added that it was working to take on teachers who were let go for open positions, rather than hiring from outside to fill vacancies. “We have several thousand teachers to hire this year,” Schools Chancellor David Banks said.  “The excessed teachers will get picked up first. Many of them will be picked up in the next couple of weeks,” Banks noted.

“This is done to ensure that … that we are able to keep teaching talent in our system,” added Nathaniel Styer, a rep for the department.  “As we do every year, we will monitor the vacancy and excess numbers on a regular basis and make adjustments as needed in hiring restrictions to ensure all schools are staffed in September with qualified teachers,” he said.

Education officials noted that the decision on which teachers to let go of is up to the school principals.  “I don’t dictate to any principal what teacher goes,” Banks said. “We just simply say, ‘Here’s your budget,’ and those decisions around who goes and who stays are made by the school principals.”


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