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Number of teachers in excess pool down sharply from the fall

Chancellor Joel Klein threw out a surprise at today’s City Council hearing on next year’s education budget — that the number of teachers currently in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool has now dipped to 1,092 teachers, down about 600 people since the fall.

In its teachers contract demands this year, the city has asked for the power to fire teachers who remain in the excess pool for more than four months. Assuming the teachers currently in the pool have been there since the fall, if not longer, they would lose their jobs under the city’s proposal.

UPDATE: This post previously reported that the number of teachers in the excess pool had dropped below 1,000 as well as a different breakdown of how many years teachers in the ATR pool have been in the system. Klein gave those numbers verbally at a City Council hearing in response to a question from Council Member Daniel Dromm, who wanted to know if principals tended to excess more experienced (and thus more costly) teachers.

After we posted the numbers we heard from Klein, DOE officials gave GothamSchools an updated set of numbers, which we used to update the chart above.

Klein told City Council that the experience level of teachers in the excess pool tends to fall along a bell curve, with the greatest number of teachers having between five and 15 years of experience.

Department of Education officials couldn’t say today whether the range of ATR teachers’ experience levels was in proportion to active teachers, but we’ll update when we have those numbers for comparison.
Last May, Klein told principals that they could only hire teachers from within the system to reduce the ranks of teachers who remain on the DOE’s payroll but who lack full-time teaching positions.  The number of teachers in the pool, which peaked last summer at about 3,000 people, plummeted to around 1,700 teachers just after school started in September.