MANHATTAN -- Parents, students and teachers were reeling Monday after the city's Education Department released the list of teachers slated to be cut from city schools if Albany doesn't come up with more funding or change hiring and firing rules.
The city's current plan to shed more than 4,600 teachers and cut another 1,500 positions through attrition over time could leave some Manhattan schools without a majority of their teaching staff, including the hardest-hit Columbia Secondary School for Math, Science and Engineering in Harlem, where 70 percent of the staff -- or 14 of 20 teachers -- have landed on the city's chopping block. The school is the same one where sixth grade student Nicole Suriel died during a field trip to Long Beach last year.
The city released the list to demonstrate what they call the disproportionate effect of the "last in, first out" seniority firing policy, which would slam newer schools, where teachers have been hired the most recently. Schools with more veteran teaching staff would escape cuts almost entirely under the rules, according to the city.
The state Senate is set to vote on a bill to allow the city to fire teachers based on performance rather than seniority. The teachers' union president called the city's list of planned teacher cuts a fear-mongering tactic designed to pressure Albany to give him the freedom to fire at will.
United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew has vehemently opposed the mayor's attempts to attack seniority rules, and was expected to appear at P.S. 126 in Chinatown Monday morning to counter what he called "a political maneuver to create panic."
Among Manhattan neighborhoods, District 1 schools in the Lower East Side and the East Village are going to be the hardest hit overall, losing a projected 10 percent of their elementary, middle and high school teachers, according to statistics released by the Education Department.
District 2, which covers the Upper East Side, Chinatown, Gramercy, Murray Hill, Midtown West, TriBeCa, Greenwich Village, and the Flatiron is set to lose nine percent of their teachers, including 13 percent of their elementary school teachers, the DOE projected.
District 3's schools in West Harlem and the Upper West Side would lose eight percent of their teachers overall, as would District 5 schools in West and Central Harlem. District 5 stands to lose the highest proportion of intermediate school teachers in the borough, with a projected 19 percent of teachers on the chopping block.
East Harlem's District 4 would lose nine percent of overall teachers, including 15 percent of their intermediate school teachers. Of those schools, the Esperanza Preperatory Academy is on deck to be the hardest hit, losing 42 percent of staff, or 11 out of 26 teachers.
Schools in District 6's Washington Heights, Inwood and Hamilton Heights are set to shed six percent of their teachers overall. District 6's High School for Excellence and Innovation is expected to lose 50 percent of their teachers, or six out of 12, the stats show.
And in District 2, the Spruce Street School for early childhood education could also lose half their staff, with three of the six staffers slated to get the ax.