NYC Principals Kicked Out of Schools Still Earning Salary and Benefits

Principals ousted from schools for misconduct or incompetence often land softly in the bureaucracy of the city’s Department of Education – where they make as much money and get the same health and pension benefits as their peers who do the job. school management.

Chancellor David Banks pledged after taking over the DOE to rid the system of unnecessary bureaucrats. But the system makes things difficult, the cases show.

It takes time and money to fire a manager who won’t resign or retire – and trying to do so can backfire, insiders say. After a lengthy administrative trial, state-appointed hearing officers who decide whether to fire tenured DOE employees can refuse to fire even those found guilty. Instead, they will issue a fine or suspension, or require training.

“In their minds, they’re evaluating when do you destroy someone’s career — instead of when do you decide that person shouldn’t be in front of children,” said Eric Nadelstern, vice-chancellor of teaching and learning under former Mayor Bloomberg.

“There are obviously people in the system who shouldn’t be there.”

Former Port Richmond HS Oneatha Swinton earns $187,000 despite pleading guilty to auto insurance fraud.
JC Rice

But a lawsuit could also reveal embarrassing details and counter-accusations against senior DOE officials, leading to bad publicity. It becomes “timely,” Nadelstern said, for the DOE to keep administrators unfit for a taxpayer-funded office.

Among the recent cases:

  • Karen Hambright-Glover, removed from PS 245 in Crown Heights in January after numerous complaints of bullying and verbal abuse against students, parents and staff, including the use of obscenities, BKReader reported. Hambright-Glover is “currently being reassigned away from students,” the DOE said last week. A report from the DOE’s Office of Special Investigations is “under review.” His salary: $187,530.
  • Oneatha Swinton, who was sacked as acting director of Port Richmond HS in June 2018. She pleaded guilty to car insurance fraud. An investigation found she wrongfully funneled $100,000 to a salesman friend and “failed to protect” 600 DOE computers, laptops and printers that went missing when she ran the John Jay School for Law. His salary: $187,043.
Swinton got a new job with the DOE's Office of Youth Safety and Development.
Swinton got a new job with the DOE’s Office of Youth Safety and Development, The Post reported earlier this year.
  • Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir, ousted from Maspeth HS last August. Investigators confirmed reports in The Post that the school created fake classes, gave credit to failing students, set grades to expel children and intimidated teachers who opposed the fraud. Chancellor Banks let Abdul-Mutakabbir remain on the payroll for seven years until his retirement. His salary: $187,043.
Former Maspeth HS director Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir continues to earn $187,043 after being kicked out of school.
Former Maspeth HS director Khurshid Abdul-Mutakabbir continues to earn $187,043 after being kicked out of school.
  • Howard Kwait, removed in May 2018 from John Bowne HS in Queens in May 2018 after the Post reported the city paid $830,000 to female employees who accused him of sexual harassment – including crude and explicit remarks. Kwait was also fined $4,500 by the city’s Conflict of Interest Commission after a school assistant he had an affair with paid $10,800 for their overseas trips together. His salary: $198,355.
  • Benjamin Sherman, forced to resign from Forest Hills HS in June 2019 after complaints of rampant smoking and general chaos. A faculty vote of no confidence alleged odd behavior, such as leaving his office and bathroom door open while he urinated. His salary: $198,355.
  • Astrid Jacobo, removed from Urban Assembly School for Wildlife Conservation in the Bronx in October 2017, a month after a student was stabbed to death in class by a boy who claimed he was bullied. His salary: $191,372.

All exiled educators are entitled to contract raises, vacation and paid leave, accrued retirement benefits and health insurance.

The DOE said all had the job title “assigned director,” but would not describe their duties.

“It leaves so many parents and staff stunned that they don’t get rid of these dangerous or problematic people in school settings.,said Adam Bergstein, a teacher at Forest Hills HS who led the faculty’s opposition to Sherman. his.”

New York Post

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