It shouldn’t be this hard to do right by the city’s public school children.
An arbitrator recently ruled that the Bloomberg administration could not go forward with plans to close—and then reopen—24 failing schools throughout the city. Why not? It would be wonderful to report that the arbitrator found that the city hadn’t gone far enough on behalf of students. But, alas, that’s not the case. Instead, the arbitrator contended that the plan violated labor contracts.
So it’s all about the teachers—and the teachers’ union.
City Hall and the teachers’ union worked together to avert catastrophic layoffs of teachers a few months ago. Too bad the union representing support staff in the schools couldn’t figure out a way to repeat that success.
As a result of District Council 37’s short-sightedness, some 672 people are out of work. They received layoff notices a few days ago. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott expressed his sorrow over the plight of the laid-off workers, but he made it clear that the union was not so sympathetic. Had its leaders tried harder to find other savings, the layoffs would not have been necessary.