So the UFT filed a lawsuit demanding that more teachers be hired to reduce class size, which is what some state aid has allocated for. I've got some news for everyone not paying attention. Thanks in large part to the power of the UFT, that money, all available money, was shifted by the state legislature from having more teachers teach in smaller classes, to having more teachers retired for more years. That irrevocable decision passed in early 2008, when the retirement age for teachers was retroactively cut from 55 to 62, with those qualifying immediately not putting in an extra dime and those near retirement contributing little.
So how does the UFT have the gall to sue the Mayor. Because he was in on the deal too, for reasons the rest of us can merely guess at. School spending is through the roof, as I have shown here as a matter of data, but administrative spending is low in NYC relative to other places. Come on Bloomberg, you're re-elected now; tell the truth about where the money is going.
Cutting the take home pay of future teachers, under another UFT deal, won't help for years, because the city will be unable to afford any, and when such teachers are hired the UFT will argue that as a result all teachers (including those not affected) have a right to do a worse job. And the small increases in class size we've seen thus far is the tip of the iceberg.
This is all about shifting blame, not helping the schools, because the UFT and those who benefitted seek to avoid the well deserved wrath of those who were cheated -- including their own younger members. The UFT is fighting for you, parents and younger teachers and teachers who actually care about their jobs, they want to say. Yeah, right.
The decision about the future of the New York City public schools has already been made. It's a repeat of everything that was done leading up to the 1970s collapse. Screw the newbies and kids, flee to Florida. Instead of complaining and suing, the UFT should be celebrating.
The 25/55 retirement deal reverses everything the Campaign for Fiscal Equity Lawsuit was supposed to be about. That state law on smaller classes? No longer relevant, because the state later decided to shift the money elsewhwere. That is the simple defense of the lawsuit.
So what was the Campaign for Fiscal Equity Lawsuit about in reality? Having NYC taxpayers pay higher taxes to increase school spending in the rest of the state, where it was sky high to begin with. And having older generations of NYC teachers retire at 55, getting paid to do nothing for about one year for each year worked. With that accomplished and funds scarce due the recession, the quality of the New York City public schools can be reduced back to the level the New York State Association of School Boards, the United Federation of Teachers, and the Manhattan Institute can agree to, to preserve their own interests.
Game over. Come on Bloomberg, say where the money is going. They're counting on you not having the balls to tell the truth.