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Rubber Rooms, for Teachers Accused of Misconduct, Bounced by City Hall

By Heather Grossmann | April 15, 2010 2:29pm | Updated on April 15, 2010 2:39pm
Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Klein. March 09, 2010
Mayor Bloomberg and Schools Chancellor Klein. March 09, 2010
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Mayor's Office/Edward Reed

By Heather Grossmann

DNAinfo News Editor

MANHATTAN — The Bloomberg administration has bounced the Rubber Room.

The city's pricy policy of putting teachers who are on probation for misconduct in "rubber rooms" will end this fall, the mayor's office said Thursday. To hold the teachers in limbo cost the city $30 million a year.

There are 550 teachers who are accused of “misconduct or incompetence” waiting in rooms, dubbed "rubber rooms," to learn whether they can return to the classrooms or be fired. While they sit there, doing next to nothing, they continue to earn their full salaries.

“The rubber rooms are a symptom of a disciplinary process that has not worked for anyone—not the kids, not the schools, and not the teachers,” United Federation of Teachers President Michael Mulgrew said. “This agreement is designed to get teachers out of the rubber rooms and to ensure that they do not have to wait for months or years to have their cases heard.”

Often teachers’ cases take years to be heard, but the new agreement demands that the Dept. of Education resolves teachers' cases within a few months.

Under a deal reached between the city and the union, teachers awaiting a decision on their fate will perform administrative work at the DOE or receive other duties outside the classroom.