Monday, March 7, 2011

Leonie Haimson: Mayor Bloomberg Booed and Excoriated for his Proposed Teacher Layoffs and Attacks on Seniority Protections - The Huffington Post

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Mayor Bloomberg was roundly booed at the annual Queens St. Patrick's Day parade on Saturday for threatening to lay off of over 4,000 teachers and his attack on their seniority rights. Check out the video below and excerpts from the Daily News, NY Post andNY1:
Chants of "Save our Teachers" rang out from pockets of the green-clad crowd that lined Newport Ave. and Rockaway Beach Blvd. in Belle Harbor....
Anthony Hannon, 80:...."What he's doing to our teachers and our Fire Department - it's shameful. Who cares about bike lanes? He's an idiot," sputtered Hannon. ....
"The classrooms are already overcrowded and now he wants to lay off thousands of teachers?"asked Jeanne O'Leary, who has been teaching at nearby Public School 104 for 10 years.
... Sondra Smith, 38, a special education teacher at Public School 114... has been teaching in the city school system for 15 years. Despite the mayor's prediction that thousands of teachers could be laid off next academic year, she said she did not fear for her job. Heckling the mayor as he turned the corner onto Rockaway Beach Boulevard, Ms. Smith yelled, "You're against the teachers, and you're against the kids."
She was appalled that she has had to buy school supplies for her 30 students, complained that the classes were overcrowded, and thought that the mayor should embrace a city tax at sporting events to make up for any shortfalls in the school budget. "There are so many things the mayor could be creatively thinking of to save teacher jobs and serve the kids, and he doesn't because he doesn't care," she added."
See also this AP article, in which the destructive effects of the layoffs is explored:
"The proposed New York City cuts, combined with attrition over the last two years, would take roughly one in eight teachers out of the city's public schools and could swell classes to an average of 24 to 29 kids, depending on grade level - far outstripping the national public school average. ...Parent advocates say the city is ignoring an already-broken agreement made in 2007 that was supposed to reduce class sizes across the board."
In the article, Professor Alan Krueger of Princeton, (former chief economist of both the US Labor Department and the Treasury Department) points out that for every dollar spent on keeping class sizes low, the economic benefits would be expected to yield two dollars in terms of increased salaries for these student later in life.
NY1 video excerpt below: