The DOE plans to announce the closing of the two remaining schools on Rikers Island tomorrow in a meeting called on the last day of school. According to DOE and union sources the two schools, Island Academy and Horizon Academy, which service 16 to 21 year old incarcerated youth on Rikers Island will undergo a restructuring leaving most teachers as ATRs and the future of incarcerated education uncertain.
The Rikers schools are part of the Alternative High School district, District 79, which has gone under restructuring almost every year since Cami Anderson became superintendent in 2006. In past reorganizations the move was done with Union blessing. (See, e.g., http://www.uft.org/member/contracts/teacher/appendix_i/ )There appears to be no union-management agreement for the Rikers schools.
District 79 had been criticized for being too big and too expensive to operate. In one restructuring over 750 teachers became ATRs when it was decided that the GED schools were not cost-effective. Many of those teachers are still ATRs.
When a school reorganizes or restructures teachers are forced to reapply for their jobs or risk being placed as ATRs. Non-tenured teachers also face possible dismissal. While our contract does allow restructuring this cannot be done without consultation and when done must follow the procedures of Article 18 of our contract.