After years of withering criticism, it seems Department of Education is finally doing something about their infamous "rubber room," where hundreds of teachers accused of misconduct can spend years getting paid to practice yoga, work on their novels, sleep, whatever. In April, the city and the United Federation of Teachers announced that rubber rooms would be closed, and now there are reports that the teachers are being forced to work. How is that even possible? One Bronx teacher explains:
"I'll be doing clerical work, which means they'll be paying me $100,049 to be making photocopies," says Hal Lanse, a Bronx teacher who's being bounced from the rubber room—which costs the city $30 million a year—to a district office in The Bronx. (Lanse tells the Post he was "accused of sexually harassing a colleague but claims the accusation was payback for exposing grade-tampering.") "The agreement's working," says UFT President Michael Mulgrew. "We've cut the number [of teachers in the rubber room] almost in half. Hopefully after we finish the backlog this will never be an issue again." Well, at least we'll always have Rubber Room the movie to remember the good times.