The Newark public schools have too many teachers and a shrinking student population, according to the new superintendent, Cami Anderson. Newark was the recipient of a $100 million donation from Facebook co-founder Mark Zuckerberg last year, and CBS News reports Newark leaders are considering buying out some teachers with the Facebook donation. From CBS News:
"If we could fire the 300 or 400 lowest-performing teachers, she wouldn't have a financial crisis," Booker said, speaking of the schools superintendent. "But her crisis right now is based on the fact that she can't get rid of teachers that way."
Booker said Anderson has been trying to avoid layoffs because she would be hamstrung by tenure rules requiring them to be based on seniority.
The superintendent is "finding every way to hold off on laying off hundreds of teachers that could be the best quality teachers," Booker said.
"If we can't figure that out, Newark will lose," he said.
What's keeping Newark from doing what any business looking to remain productive would do and just fire the teachers that suck? The teachers' union, naturally. It's the same story across the public sector; teachers, cops, even tax-dodging federal employees who ought to be fired are protected by union rules that simply wouldn't fly in the private sector because any business saddled with so many un-fireable employees couldn't survive. Not without lots of bailout money anyway.