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NYC to spend one billion on consultants while firing 4,100 teachers.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 10:51 PM
Original message
NYC to spend one billion on consultants while firing 4,100 teachers.
City prepares to spend nearly $1 billion on education consultants as it fires 4,100 teachers

As the city prepares to lay off 4,100 teachers, the Department of Education is planning to spend nearly $1 billion on consultants next school year, a new analysis shows.

Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer blasted the agency's budget as a "black hole" and took issue with the 6% increase on consultants, after his office pored over the latest budget documents.

.."The analysis also found increased spending on consultants to recruit teachers by nearly $1 million - while the city is cutting teachers.


A lot of the cuts will harm many students.

Jose Gonzalez, whose sons Alvaro, 10 and Allan, 9, attend Public School 73 in the Bronx joined a protest against budget cuts held yesterday at City Hall.

"We want a better education for our children. How are we going to do that?...They're really wasting money on consultants and contracts," said Gonzalez, a member of the Coalition for Educational Justice.


A little more:

The DOE Has A $1 Billion Dollar Consultant Problem

The Department of Education, meant to be one of the defining triumphs of Michael Bloomberg's mayoral career, has become a "fiscal black hole" with a serious consultant problem to the tune of $982 million, according to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. That title comes after yet another consultant-related financial scandal came out of the department. Turns out the former Chief Financial Officer of the DOE, George Raab, and several consultants used their time there to plot Raab's exit to a private financial firm, according to a report from Richard J. Condon, the special commissioner of investigation for the city schools.


An idea:

But maybe it should just stop with the consultants all together? In the light of this latest development, Stringer has been on a press rampage regarding the massive amounts of cash the city is spending on education consultants while threatening to fire teachers. According to Stringer the DOE's spending on outside consultants soared 455% from 2004 to 2012, rising from $177 million to $982.3 million.


Consultant spending rose 455% in 8 years.

Good Idea. No more consultants. Keep the 4,100 teachers who are being fired.

Problem solved.

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bluesbassman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 10:55 PM
Response to Original message
1. We are in bizzaro times my friends. Can't get over this quote...
.."The analysis also found increased spending on consultants to recruit teachers by nearly $1 million - while the city is cutting teachers.

:wtf:
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proud2BlibKansan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 11:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
2. That's not bizarre. That's the new deal.
They fire the experienced teachers and recruit cheaper non teachers.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 12:08 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. The New Normal. Arne's words.
Doing more with less, he says. So NY decides to have less teachers and more consultants. Yep, that'll work really well.
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 05:27 PM
Response to Reply #5
28. Of course. Because, to arne, children are worth less - or worthless.
Edited on Mon May-30-11 05:27 PM by Jakes Progress
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:41 AM
Response to Reply #2
8. it's bizarre nonetheless. psychotic, even.
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elehhhhna Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:50 PM
Response to Reply #8
16. True "ed consultant" story from 2010
A huge istrict in the Houston suburbs had a consultant on efficiency come in the "audit" the admin. Not teachers - admin.

He made them remove from their offices, desks, and walls, all personal effects - photo's, thank you notes, posters, drawings, inspirational quotes, anything not school-issued.

He then insisted they turn their desks so their acks FACED tyheir office doors so as to "concentrate better". The Princ., counselors, and Security/Facilites guy fought against the back turning.

The district made them do it anyway.

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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 02:10 PM
Response to Reply #16
19. lol. and they get paid the big bucks. consultantsies in my experience are sometimes
a form of political payoff.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 03:26 PM
Response to Reply #16
21. Ha Ha
I hate to laugh at that, but it is so typical. One year our principal, asst principal, and county superintendents were cussing among themselves at the consultants, the next year they were using them against their teachers.
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russspeakeasy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 06:54 PM
Response to Reply #2
31. We have to find a new "new normal".
Cause this just ain't workin.
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Occulus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 11:11 PM
Response to Reply #1
3. Many very vocal DUers are FINE with this. n/t
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 12:49 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Yes, they are.
Most definitely.
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CreekDog Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:37 AM
Response to Reply #3
7. yes
they'll be here soon. :D
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Hannah Bell Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:59 AM
Response to Reply #7
10. to talk about how all those fresh young cheap teachers will fix those ny schools the lazy unionized
teachers ruined! ruined!
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:52 PM
Response to Reply #7
17. There are threads they avoid, like this one...
Too damned embarrassing. No excuse for this situation. They'll just hope this thread drops if they don't enter debate and thus kick it.

SO KEEP KICKING IT PEOPLE.

If you know the details of what many of these "consultants" do, it's far worse than you imagine. They'll take fees for many years without providing any discernible service. This is crony capitalism. This is plunder at the top to justify class war on the bottom.

This is why Bloomberg picked a beancounting hitwoman with no education experience from his business circle to run the department: to protect against the exposure of what is essentially "graft" in the form of contracts. It was beautiful how spectacularly that backfired, and maybe the fall of Cathie Black combined with this latest controversy can be the beginning of unraveling the real story of Bloomberg's mayoral dictatorship over the NYC school system and the War on Teachers nationwide.

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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:32 PM
Response to Reply #17
23. I am sooooooo hopeful
that more parents will join in our efforts to save public education, and keep our veteran teachers in their jobs.

Furthermore, I think teachers across the nation MUST strike en masse. We must solidly support each other, and stop these vile corporate megalomaniacs. We have most of the summer to plan, and put support strategies in place. I hope we can effect change nationwide.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 05:25 PM
Response to Reply #17
53. +1. Esp . for putting it this way:
>>>This is crony capitalism. This is plunder at the top to justify class war on the bottom.>>>>>

Wish I'd said that.
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 06:51 PM
Response to Reply #53
54. Thanks (blush).
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Jakes Progress Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 05:28 PM
Response to Reply #3
29. Their silence and acquiescence mark them. The are neocon enablers.
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erodriguez Donating Member (532 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 05:49 AM
Response to Reply #1
41. To add insult to injury there have been many scandals involving DOE consultants defrauding the city
Edited on Tue May-31-11 05:51 AM by erodriguez
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Bozita Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-29-11 11:17 PM
Response to Original message
4. Infuckingsane! ... Yup, that's the right word.
Might be even a bit soft.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:58 AM
Response to Original message
9. As bad as it sounds, the reality is much worse.
Edited on Mon May-30-11 05:01 AM by Smarmie Doofus
This is likely my last year in this system.

I've never seen such disarray, such malevolence, such chaos, such venality, such stupidity.

And Washington has not a clue about what's wrong... much less about how to fix it.

K and R.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 09:55 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. "such disarray, such malevolence, such chaos, such venality, such stupidity"
Good choice of words.....the malevolence seems to be very appropriate.

Obama's choice of Arne Duncan opened the floodgates of "malevolence" against teachers. No one in his administration or in the party leadership seems aware.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:38 PM
Response to Reply #9
24. hmm....
I disagree. I think Mr. Obama is rather patronizing in his education policies, both with regards to appointing Arne and in his support of RTTT. This man is NOT stupid. He likely thinks he's 'fighting the good fight' to save public education. I particularly felt this way right after Obama chided veteran teachers for complaining about RTTT and Arne.

Obama is making a HUGE mistake with Arne AND RTTT, and I do NOT think he'll get a clue about this.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 08:57 PM
Response to Reply #24
36. He's not stupid; he's ignorant.
>>>>This man is NOT stupid. He likely thinks he's 'fighting the good fight' to save public education. I particularly felt this way right after Obama chided veteran teachers for complaining about RTTT and Arne. >>>

He's never attended an American public school. He's seen to it that his children have never attended an American public school. Needless to say he's never taught in an American public school.

He has zero relevant personal experience with regard to anything about this issue.

Zero as a consumer. Zero as a provider.

Zero + zero = zero.

An intelligent solution would be to consult with and seek advice from people who DO have relevant experience. But the people he consults are as clueless as he is.

In that respect, he is indeed acting unintelligently.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #36
46. True that,
but I would add the modifier: willful; as in, he's willfully ignorant.
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truth2power Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #9
30. Au contraire! Washington has a clue all right. Obama (and Arne)
know exactly what they're doing.

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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 12:24 PM
Response to Original message
12. Bringing in TFA? Adding to the insult.
http://failingschools.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/speaking... /

"Even as the threat of thousands of teacher layoffs looms, the city is preparing to hire 500 new ones for next fall, officials said.

Critics wonder why the city has accepted the new recruits - 400 from New York City Teaching Fellows and 100 from Teach for America - to work in shortage areas like special education instead of retraining teachers on the payroll.

"It's mind-boggling that they're hiring when I may lose my job," said Marquis Harrison, 25, who started in the city schools with Teach for America nearly three years ago."

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2011/05/19/2011-05-...
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:43 PM
Response to Reply #12
25. TFA
seems like a desperate effort on the part of this administration to sustain the fallacy that going to college and getting specialized training will help our young college graduates realize 'the American Dream' and land on their feet in this nation's disintegrating job market.

Now, here is a three year 'veteran' of TFA, worried that she won't have a contract next year! So, when are these TFAers going to join with veteran teachers to stop this nonsense?!
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markpkessinger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:25 PM
Response to Reply #25
48. The TFAers aren't really inrerested in teaching . . .
. . . They're interested in fulfilling a de rigeur "community service" requirement to round out their corporate curricula vitae.
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End Of The Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:36 PM
Response to Reply #48
51. Not always true, but may be the norm.
I know several TFAers. They can't find a JOB with their degrees, and are looking at Teach for America as a way to not have to live with their parents.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:36 PM
Response to Reply #51
56. FWIW,
students can tell almost immediately when the teacher in front of them is missing that critical, heartfelt commitment to teaching that is characteristic of those of us who live, eat, breathe, and dream teaching. They'll eat that kind of fresh meat for a midday snack.
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erodriguez Donating Member (532 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 05:41 AM
Response to Reply #12
40. Don't forget there is also tons of ed grads from NYC's public college system that are locked out
Edited on Tue May-31-11 05:44 AM by erodriguez
These people are from the neighborhoods in which they would be teaching. They generally have the same racial makeup. They complete a rigorous program which includes a year of student teaching. Yet, they are locked out of the system.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
13. Interesting comment about TFA in the comment section...the cost.
"Not only are they paying consultants to recruit these new teachers, but Teach for America corps members cost much, much more than any regular teachers. My district has paid $10,000 per year per corps member above and beyond their regular teacher salaries and regualr teacher benefits as the extra fee just to have TFA in our schools where there has never been a teacher shortage. Six TFA year one = $60,000 in fees. Six additional TFA in year two = $120,000 in fees. Year three will cost us another $60,000 for the second set of six to finish their two-year commitment. The extra money goes to TFA for administrative costs, for corps members additional training, and for a free Masters degree in Educational Leadership from a local University. Even if they stay in the profession for a few years, it is hardly worth the additional costs. Fully trained, certified, licensed teachers are avaialable to fill these jobs. In NYC, apparently, current staff are available for these jobs. This kind of action is totally unjustifiable."

http://failingschools.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/speaking...
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suffragette Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:41 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. "The extra money goes to TFA for administrative costs"
So the extra cost, in part, goes into some administrator/executives pocket and/or to profit for TFA rather than directly to the teachers who live in the community.
And those teachers who are part of the community are now subject to layoff and won't be able to contribute to the community as before.
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Starry Messenger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 01:31 PM
Response to Original message
14. k&r
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Jack Sprat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 02:05 PM
Response to Original message
18. That's usually how the grand theft starts
It starts with high paid consultants eliminating jobs and gutting the entity. They have to dehumanize the structure first to make it acceptable for implosion.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 02:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
20. That is true. The "dehumanizing" and deprofessionalizing" has gone on a long time.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
22. Proof POSITIVE
that a select group of corporatists are feathering their nests at the expense of teachers, unions, and public education as a whole.

Consultants?! Pah!

Our nation is in the toilet, and the uber wealthy have their dirty, greedy hands poised to hit the flusher.
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:46 PM
Response to Original message
26. Durn, mad...
I wish I could recommend each of your threads a GAZILLION TIMES!

I don't think I'll ever get another contract in a public school...
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xchrom Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 04:51 PM
Response to Original message
27. Reco
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dakota_democrat Donating Member (334 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 07:43 PM
Response to Original message
32. One BILLION???
I can't even fathom that number. Like, what do you get from a billion dollars worth of consulting?
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 07:47 PM
Response to Reply #32
33. It is hard to fathom. 982 million to consultants.
"The Department of Education, meant to be one of the defining triumphs of Michael Bloomberg's mayoral career, has become a "fiscal black hole" with a serious consultant problem to the tune of $982 million, according to Manhattan Borough President Scott Stringer. That title comes after yet another consultant-related financial scandal came out of the department."

More:

..."But maybe it should just stop with the consultants all together? In the light of this latest development, Stringer has been on a press rampage regarding the massive amounts of cash the city is spending on education consultants while threatening to fire teachers. According to Stringer the DOE's spending on outside consultants soared 455% from 2004 to 2012, rising from $177 million to $982.3 million.

For an example of what exactly these consultants are doing, look no further than William Howatt, one of the consultants hired by Raab and implicated in Condon's investigation. For less than a year's work Howatt received $374,000 to help the DOE's mid-level managers by "improving their ability to adapt to change." Which we're totally sure he did...from his home in Nova Scotia where he billed the majority of his hours from. Jeez, where can we get one of these consulting gigs!"

http://gothamist.com/2011/05/25/doe_spends_nearly_1b_on...
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chervilant Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:20 PM
Response to Reply #32
47. hmm...
An almost guaranteed reappointment or reelection?
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coalition_unwilling Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 11:25 PM
Response to Reply #32
61. A bunch of yo-yos who say 'enhance' when they mean 'improve' (my
homage to Joseph Heller's 'Catch 22' :)
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sulphurdunn Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 08:15 PM
Response to Original message
34. This is just legalized theft.
It's standard operating procedure for any kleptocracy. See, it's quite doubtful that any of the 4100 teachers being canned even belongs to a country club.
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senseandsensibility Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 08:23 PM
Response to Original message
35. This is taxpayer money, right?
Money that naive taxpayers may assume is actually being used to educate children.
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Smarmie Doofus Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 09:04 PM
Response to Reply #35
37. Indeed it is. nt
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xpertanalyst Donating Member (22 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 09:10 PM
Response to Original message
38. Hold on a second
Each "consultant" is a person trying to make a living also. Like teachers, there are good ones and bad ones. The good ones are worth it, the bad ones aren't. The government has screwed up spending, but don't blame it on "consultants" (or teachers, firemen, police).
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon May-30-11 09:25 PM
Response to Reply #38
39. I am sorry but I don't feel that much compassion for reformer consultants.
There are career teachers being treated like dirt and losing their livelihood.

My sympathy lies with them. The consultants have big industry behind them, so let them turn to them.

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AngryAmish Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 12:29 PM
Response to Reply #39
45. There is an assumption that all the consultants are reformer consultants
Edited on Tue May-31-11 12:33 PM by AngryAmish
That well may be so. But my wife's uncle is a NYC school "consultant". He was an administrator but maxed out his pension. So he retired. Then he was hired back as a "consultant". Mostly the same work, better hours and a new title. He gets a pension, school district does not have to have an employee on the books.
on edit: I may not have read the op well enough. It seems the consultant racket has increased 455% over the last 8 year. Yikes!
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drm604 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 02:26 PM
Response to Reply #38
63. Convince me that these consultants contribute more
to the education of the students than the teachers that that billion could be used to retain or hire.
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blackspade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
42. Shoveling almost $1 b to consultants?
Seriously?
That sounds criminal to me.
How can they justify spending that much of the public's money?
I can only imagine how many teachers that would employ each year.
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distilledvinegar Donating Member (33 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:54 AM
Response to Reply #42
43. about 11,000 in my district
Teachers on average earn salary and benefits worth about $86,000/year in my CA district - $1 billion would pay for about 11,628 teachers.

We've got the same problems as NYC on a much smaller scale; too much paid out to consultants, TFAers being hired while experienced teachers are laid off, etc.
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blackspade Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 12:18 PM
Response to Reply #43
44. Just plain wrong.
It comes down to union busting and pitting teachers against each other.
And turning the public against education.
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demmiblue Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:28 PM
Response to Original message
49. The best consultants ARE the teachers. n/t
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 06:52 PM
Response to Reply #49
55. The whole basis of "reform" is to deny them any voice or influence.
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Blue_Tires Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:30 PM
Response to Original message
50. Consulting has been a hustler's game for many years now
Especially for municipal and state governments who want to be run "more like a business"

Doesn't surprise me...
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End Of The Road Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 04:37 PM
Response to Original message
52. I'd like to know who the consultants are.
Pearson Education Consulting?

That would not bode well for our teachers.
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madfloridian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:40 PM
Response to Reply #52
57. I understand many are online education company reps.
I misplaced the article, but will find it soon. They represent private companies in large part who want to profit.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:54 PM
Response to Reply #57
60. My nephew is doing that online education thing this fall, not sure how it works.
He got "kicked out of school." 8 years old.

(Think the parents are refusing to work with the school though and are considering the online option the best route.)
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Overseas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:50 PM
Response to Original message
58. I agree. Keep the teachers.
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue May-31-11 10:51 PM
Response to Original message
59. How are they justifying this retardation or are they even trying?
Edited on Tue May-31-11 10:52 PM by joshcryer
This is mafia level corruption shit here.
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defendandprotect Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Jun-01-11 01:41 PM
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62. Privatization, the age old answer to ridding the nation of democracy -- !!
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joshcryer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jun-02-11 04:41 AM
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64. Kick! This is criminal.
The board or whoever signed off on this bullshit needs to be fired and an investigation needs to be done over conflict of interest if not outright fraud.
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