Tuesday, June 23, 2015


The UFT negotiated for an increase in Teacher's Choice money from the City Council for next year. This is positive news; we will get around $125 per teacher for supplies.  While this is a gain, it is still well below the $260 level that was allocated for Teacher's Choice just a few short years back. Furthermore, when the city is flush with cash and the state isn't doing too badly either, where was the push by the union for something really significant?

How about lowering class sizes?   I don't think pushing Mayor de Blasio, the City Council and Chancellor Farina to significantly lower class size is even a UFT priority.

Let us not forget that this is actually part of our contract. Notice below how Article 8Ld) calls for a program for reduction of class size in all grades and divisions.  The Department of Education and UFT found money for other parts of Article 8L such as the ill fated school wide merit pay program and, to be fair, the the five year salary differential.  However, why has lower class size been forgotten?   Wasn't the Campaign for Fiscal Equity suit settled years ago?  Wasn't it Mayor Bloomberg who opposed lowering class sizes, not Mayor de Blasio?

Article 8L
Labor/Management Committee On Long Term Reforms With regard to the long term recommendations the 2005 Fact Finders made subject to adequate CFE funding, the parties shall establish a Labor Management Committee to discuss the following issues: a) bonuses, including housing bonuses, for shortage license areas; b) a pilot project for school-wide based performance bonuses for sustained growth in student achievement; c) salary differentials at the MA-5 through MA-7 levels; and d) a program for the reduction of class size in all grades and divisions. If the parties agree on the terms of any or all of these issues, they may be implemented by the Board using whatever funds may be identified. 

The UFT just does not play offense very well.  I think it is one of the main reasons we are in such a difficult situation as a profession these days.

Anyway, here is the UFT's latest victory statement on Teacher's Choice:

We won a 62% increase in funding for Teacher's Choice in the final city budget that the mayor and the City Council announced late last night. Teachers should receive about $125 in the coming school year, up from $77 this year. Thanks to everyone who participated in the social media and lobbying blitz for this vital program!


Anonymous said...

So just because it isn't more doesn't mean that it wasn't a success. Every year we are increasing in funding and we will continue to as long as the economy improves. Everyone agrees that it should be more but remember that we are in a political environment where money for tests continue to dominate if only to serve to further attack our teachers. Give the UFT credit for finding an opening and getting more while hobbling the worst of anti public school and anti public servant initiatives.

Mr.Hughesonline said...

Just as I remember in the not too distant past when Teacher's Choice was $260, I also remember when it was $0. We clearly spend more than $125 on supplies and materials, but it's a start. And theoretically, it's a step in the right direction for the next round of negotiations.

Anonymous said...

When was it zero?

Anonymous said...

When did the city have a larger surplus?

Anonymous said...

Class Size | United Federation of Teachers

From the UFT website: In recent years we have fought for even smaller classes, finally securing city and state legislation for a cap of 28 in grades 1 to 3, 25 in kindergarten and 18 in pre-K. Tell your UFT chapter leader if your class(es) exceed(s) these limits.

Our goal is an average 20 students per class in grades K-3 and 24 students in grades 9-12. (Tell this to those schools who have class sizes bursting at the seams; or to those schools with small class sizes who are threatened by the DOE to up the numbers or have the class collapsed. Where is our union then?)