Thursday, May 07, 2009

Remember-It's All About The Kids!

How hard is it to remove an entrenched teacher from a public school? Evidently in L.A. it's dang near impossible.
L.A. Times

For seven years, the Los Angeles Unified School District has paid Matthew Kim a teaching salary of up to $68,000 per year, plus benefits.

His job is to do nothing.

Every school day, Kim's shift begins at 7:50 a.m., with 30 minutes for lunch, and ends when the bell at his old campus rings at 3:20 p.m. He is to take off all breaks, school vacations and holidays, per a district agreement with the teacher's union. At no time is he to be given any work by the district or show up at school.

He has never missed a paycheck.

In the jargon of the school district, Kim is being "housed" while his fitness to teach is under review. A special education teacher, he was removed from Grant High School in Van Nuys and assigned to a district office in 2002 after the school board voted to fire him for allegedly harassing teenage students and colleagues. In the meantime, the district has spent more than $2 million on him in salary and legal costs.

Because these non-working teachers are so numerous the district has decided to order them to continue their routine of nothingness at home. All total the housed teachers in the L.A. district collect about $10 million a year even as the district is contemplating massive layoffs due to budget cuts.

This problem is not isolated to California. New York City has about 550 home non-schoolers. Chicago has about 30.

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