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NYC Teachers Paid $80K to Twiddle Thumbs

By Jackie Burrell
Wednesday, June 24th, 2009 at 12:17 pm in Schools.

Toy school bus Unbelievable. Apparently 700 New York City teachers are being paid their full $70,000-$80,000 salaries to sit in a room, surf the ‘Net, play board games, do yoga and whatever else floats their collective boats while they await disciplinary hearings. They call it “the rubber room,” and some teachers have spent two to six years in there, running up a $65 million annual taxpayer tab while they wait for arbitrators, who work 5 days a month, to hear cases that range from sexual misconduct to whistle blowing over tainted test scores.

One math teacher spent 14 months in a “reassignment center” after he blew the whistle on an assistant principal who, he charged, had changed test data. Another was charged with “having a student sit in my class with a hat on, singing.” And a third, an art teacher, landed in the room because she used inappropriate language after a student attacked her.

Administrators say union rules prohibit them from weeding out dead wood. Teachers say they’re being punished for standing up for themselves. What do you suppose the taxpayers are saying?

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