Monday, June 24, 2019


I am hearing various reports about budgets being cut in the schools for the 2019-2020 school year.

Does anyone have any information on budgets for next year besides what is already on the school budget pages which is incomplete?

Is there out of control excessing occurring because of cuts?

This has turned into a very busy end of the school year with UFT members from all over getting in touch with me.

It is difficult to believe I am not still active as I seem to be as busy answering union questions as when I was an active teacher.

This piece of advice and article on excessing from Unity's Gene Mann's The Organizer may be helpful.

Principal's tell people…

I need you to switch your license…

…so that you can become a probationer again? Why would you do that? Check with your borough’s UFT Edcational Liaison before agreeing to teach out of license. In Queens that’s Heather Goldberg (

You’re going to be excessed. You should resign…

…excessing has nothing to do with employment. Your job is assured even if you cannot find a new position on the Open Market. (See the Excessingarticle below.)

You’re going to be discontinued. You should resign.

…resignation is a weighty decision which involves sacrificing lump sum payments and health care, as well as employment. Reach out to your District Representative immediately.


Every year, because of fluctuations in funding and student population, schools have to make staffing decisions, which may well result in excessing.

It is important to understand that excessing is a loss of position, not a loss of job. Excessed staff members continue their employment without interruption.

It is almost equally important to understand that working without an appointment-being an ATR-is not the world’s most comfortable situation. This is particularly so for untenured members-the most likely to be excessed-as they can never achieve tenure without teaching their own students in their license area.

Persons who are feeling insecure should register for the Open Market and check opportunities regularly. All members should check their school’s June seniority list to determine how vulnerable they are in their license.

Three additional things to bear in mind:

Being told by your principal that you will be excessed is not actually being excessed. You will receive a letter from HR giving you complete instructions. It is not impossible that the excessing decision may be reversed.

You should give your principal a letter asserting your Right of Return under Article 17B, Rule 8. This prevents your school from hiring another person for “your” position for a year and a day. (See sample below. Thanks, James and Washington.)

If you transfer during the Open Market period, you have sacrificed your Right of Return.

Special Notes

Common Branches (781B) teachers working in middle schools are considered for excessing purposes only as probationers in a subject area which they have taught for the past three years.

Rule 10 teachers (20+ years of continuous appointed service in license), if excessed, remain in their buildings as ATRs.


Anonymous said...

All great topics. However, I am eagerly anticipating how the new observation cycle is going work next year. According to the contract, teachers rated "effective" or "highly effective" are to have at least 2 observations next year. One observation in the first half of the year and one in the second half of the year. However, what happens if principals apply the contract literally and and go above the minimum? Are we still going to have tons of drive by observations that all count in our files? This to me is the million dollar question.

James Eterno said...

Those are minimums. They can still observe you as often as they like.

Anonymous said...

It is a minimum. They can walk in and write up as many as they want.

Anonymous said...

James, can you clarify the rule about Common branch licensed teachers teaching middle school classes? We have a few CB licensed teachers who have taught grade 7 and 8 for much longer than 3 years.

Anonymous said...

District 30 has over 40 excessed teachers due to budget cuts.

James Eterno said...

Call UFT for the common branches question please.

Anonymous said...

Lisa Mars has been ousted from LaGuardia.
Promoted to another position.

Anonymous said...

Is it true that there is a hiring freeze for Common Branches and a few other licenses? They should place the ATRs into permanent positions while the freeze continues. Esp since excessing is so rampant this year. While they are at it, they should start funding the schools @100% and stop with this equity bull! How can you tell me to be equitable, but you're have funding to create new top admin positions and students barely have Special's classes in elementary schools! Biggest BS ever, the DOE....

Anonymous said...

Do you all think that most principals are going to do more than 2 observations? Do you think that central is going to push principals to do more than 2? Personally,I think that most principals hate doing tons of observations and will leave experienced teachers with only 2. But then again, I am naive from time to time!

Anonymous said...

I hate assuming, but I would bet a decent amount of people leave the doe after being excessed.

A lot of teachers do not understand or are capable of knowing what an atr is.

When I was atr I was asked by colleagues ‘why are you just a sub making sub money?’ When I would explain exceeding and being an atr and watching reactions it were as if I were watching a deer in headlights.