Most New York City teachers from rubber rooms have returned to classroom

March 14, 2011
City, teachers union have expedited discipline hearing for teachers

From The New York Daily News: The majority of New York City public school teachers who were assigned to so-called rubber rooms last June have returned to the classroom. The majority of the former teachers -- 474 -- have returned to the classroom; 83 have an open criminal case or are waiting on an arbitrator to rule on their disciplinary hearing. Teachers removed from classrooms and awaiting a discipline hearing were assigned to rubber rooms until the city and teachers union agreed to end the practice and expedite the discipline process. Of the 744 former staffers in the rubber rooms when they closed last June, 59 were fired and 121 resigned or retired in just over six months' time, department statistics show. One died.

JUNE 2010...from The New York Times: Monday was the end of an era for the New York City school system's "rubber rooms." It was the last day for the roughly 700 teachers and administrators spread among seven reassignment centers, where they were spent their days after being accused of transgressions as small as persistent tardiness and as serious as sexually harassing students. For the last several years, teachers accused of incompetence or wrongdoing have been forced into so-called rubber rooms, formally called Temporary Reassignment Centers, where they received a full salary but did not work while they waited for the school system to decide their fate. Beginning in the fall, those teachers will perform administrative duties or be sent home if they are deemed a threat to students.

APRIL 2010...from The New York Daily News: New York City officials and and the teachers union have come to an agreement to close the school system's so-called "rubber rooms" by the end of the year. About 550 teachers and 630 school employees report to reassignment centers after being accused of serious violations ranging from incompetence to sexual misconduct. At a cost of $30 million, they sit in centers while waiting for their cases to wind through the system. The agreement would, starting in September, bar any new teachers accused of violations from being assigned to the rubber rooms. Instead, they would be assigned to administrative duties outside the school. DECEMBER 2009....from The New York Daily News: Six current and former New York City teachers have sued to shut down the so-called "rubber rooms" where teachers who have been removed from the classroom while under investigation spend their days. The suit contends that the school system's policy of using the rooms is unconstitutional and that the rooms are designed to humiliate teachers into quitting before a disciplinary hearing.

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