Associated Press – May 4, 2008:

The number of city teachers yanked from their classrooms because of accusations of wrongdoing has doubled in four years, and some spend years collecting their salaries while awaiting disciplinary hearings, a newspaper reported Sunday.

Their pay costs the nation’s largest public school system an estimated $65 million a year, not including the cost of hiring substitutes or renting space for the so-called “rubber rooms” where accused teachers spend their work days, the Daily News reported.

Accused of offenses ranging from excessive lateness to sex abuse, an average of 700 teachers at any given time read magazines, play cards and nap in the “rubber rooms” — officially, Temporary Reassignment Centers, the newspaper reported. It cited city data.

As of Jan. 29, one teacher accused of sexually abusing a child had been assigned to a rubber room for five and a half years, the newspaper said. The average accused teacher waits four months for investigators to decide whether to bring formal charges. If they do, it takes an average of nine more months for a hearing and another six months for a decision.




  1. shrootie says:

    This American Life (podcast) did a segment on this phenomenon. I think it was called “Good work if you can get it.”

    [That episode was called Human Resources. – ed.]

  2. eyeofthetiger says:

    Send them outside to clean up the school grounds.

  3. Daniel says:

    Given how crappy a lot of public school teachers are, I’d say they are paying a lot more than just the $65 mil to have teachers not teach. Just because they show up and are in the classroom doesn’t mean the taxpayers are getting their moneys worth from them.

  4. McCullough says:

    I knew a cop who was caught selling drugs in the Virgin Islands, his punishment- 2 years paid suspension. Good work indeed.

  5. @#2: Unfortunately their Union contracts prevent such punishment. They can either teach or do nothing for money during years long and convoluted process for dismissal. Person who allowed such contract should be brought to the public attention and the Union should be shamed into removing these from the contract…

  6. michael says:

    The flip side of this is teachers that get accused of things they didn’t do, or have bullshit charges leveled against them because of political or personal problems within the school have to sit in a room all day for weeks to months on end just waiting. The NYC education system so so fucked. They just need to start over.

  7. chrisroxx says:

    npr’s This american Life did a whole show on this this year, i think it was call inside the rubber room, probally on itunes

  8. web says:

    But they need more money, after all it’s for the childerrrren.

  9. rabsten says:

    Looks like someone’s been trolling the NPR site looking for post-worthy material. As shrootie pointed out, this was a TAL last month. The Hagee article was rehashed on Fresh Air last month too.

    Interesting stuff, but old news to us tea-sipping elitist public radio types.

  10. jccalhoun hates the stupid spam filter says:

    The This American Life story is really worth listening to. It is just mindboggling that they do this.


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