In recent years, we've been treated to horror stories about the "rubber rooms," where public school systems dump teachers who are accused of wrong-doing, or simply incompetent. Thanks to union protection, these "educators" (and we use that term advisedly) report to holding areas while their cases wind through the system.
It usually takes years to get rid of a bad teacher, and they collect full pay and benefits while sitting in the rubber rooms. Many spend their days surfing the internet, sleeping, or even pursuing a second career (some of the dud teachers in NYC have earned real estate licenses while sitting in purgatory and sell properties from the holding rooms--all on the taxpayer's dime). When you consider that veteran teachers in New York can earn more than $90,000 a year, the rubber rooms represent a horrific waste of education dollars.
While it's not uncommon to find teachers who have spent four or five years on hold, the New York Post has discovered the "Granddaddy" of the rubber room
set. Seventy-five-year-old Roland Pierre has been assigned to a holding facility since 1997, after he was accused of molesting one of his students. New York school system Chancellor Joel Klein refuses to put Pierre back in the classroom, despite the fact that criminal charges against him were dropped, and education department hearing officers let him off the hook.
So, Mr. Pierre keeps reporting to the rubber room each workday, drawing full pay and health care benefits. His current salary is just over $97,000 a year.
On June 26, 1997, Pierre, then 62, was arrested on felony sex-abuse charges after he allegedly called one of his students into an empty classroom where he taught English as a second language, closed the door and molested her.
The girl left and went to the administrative office, where she "burst into tears" and reported the incident, [investigators] said in a March 6, 1998, report on the investigation, released to The Post last week.
The report says Pierre refused to speak to investigators, but gave a two-page typed statement acknowledging that he had met the girl behind closed doors.
While Mr. Pierre reached retirement age years ago, he simply refuses to leave--and under union rules, the school system can't fire him. And there's little incentive for him to quit. Where else can you earn more than $100K a year (including benefits) for doing absolutely nothing?
Our sympathies go out to those of you living in New York. Roland Pierre is yet another example of what's wrong with our education system, and why public employee unions are literally killing our cities and states.
Labels: Rubber Rooms; NYC teachers;