Layoffs Anyone? Calamity Ensues

Posted by Kunal Patel

With the largest population of students in a schooling system, the New York City Board of Education would face massive drawbacks in the event of a budget cutback. The fiscal mess on Wall Street or better known as the disastrous rolling bolder may soon crush what’s most important to many students, their education.

The economy has gotten to a point where massive budget cuts are unavoidable. Unfortunately, the Mayor plans to make major cuts in the department of education, possibly signing layoffs to an estimated 15,000 of the district's 80,000 NYC public school teachers, according to the online.wsj.com.

Let’s face it, the absence 15,000 teachers would prove to have devastating effects on the schooling system.

“Schools could not open if it were to happen,” expressed Newtown High School Principal John Ficalora. Although, he remained pensive towards the idea of teachers being laid off feeling as though such a massive layoff could not follow through.

Newtown alone would be taking a huge hit as an estimated “50 teachers” would be laid off in an event of massive layoffs, noted Ficalora. This would evidently result in class sizes larger than they already are.

Shockingly, increased class sizes are the least of worries as the “ability to offer summer and night school” would be a difficult task in itself, according to Ficalora. This would be the last option Newtown would want to resort to as much of the student population relies heavily on night and summer school to graduate or complete failed courses.

The possibility of massive teacher layoffs could very well be “devastating to both our students and the people who work so hard to provide them with a quality education," noted Randi Weingarten, Teachers Union President.

Teachers would be laid off in a “seniority” fashion, which calls for newer teachers to get the boot first. Contrary to what most experienced teachers believe, there is basically no relationship between seniority and teaching ability. The idea that the DOE lays off teachers in this manner seems to be illogical as a study by the Urban Institute found that today's city public school hires have more attractive attributes, such as scoring higher on certification exams than the hires of old.

Since teacher salaries are based on a the number of years they have been in the classroom, it would be irrational to lay off teachers from the bottom up as more experienced teachers make more money. We are in need of money, by eliminating lower paid (less experienced) teachers opposed to higher paid (experienced) teachers, the city is essentially doing itself harm.

When asked to comment on the order of which teachers are laid off, Principal Ficalora failed to cooperative stating, “I only do what I am told to by the Chancellor.”

There’s not much that can be done at this point as the waiting game has begun. With stimulus package talk’s continuing, Teachers Union President Randi Weingarten felt that an economic stimulus package would save a great number of teachers. Layoffs must be prevented to maintain solid education quality in Department of Education.


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