Monday, July 23, 2012

Newark Mulls Teacher Buyouts

The WSJ's Lisa Fleisher with the latest from Newark:

Borrowing a page from New York City, Houston and other cities, Newark could soon use money from the foundation started by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg to offer buyouts to teachers in a cost-saving move.

Schools Superintendent Cami Anderson has approached the teachers' union with the idea, which has a twofold intent: give weak educators incentive to leave and pare what she calls the district's oversize payroll.

The effort comes as lawmakers in Trenton negotiate a bill to weaken tenure protections and evaluate teachers based on student performance, which is supported by Newark Mayor Cory Booker.

"Superintendent Anderson has two hands tied behind her back," he said at a meeting of education writers in Philadelphia on Friday. "If we could fire the 300 to 400 lowest-performing teachers, she wouldn't have a financial crisis."

In an interview, Mr. Booker said he hoped the buyouts would be a temporary fix until schools can oust teachers based on performance rather than seniority. Mr. Booker, unlike New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, doesn't have control of the schools and isn't part of negotiations over a new contract.


Newark Mulls Teacher Buyouts


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