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Schools to offer buyouts to teachers

NEW YORK -- New York City education officials will offer buyouts to hundreds of teachers who collectively cost the city at least $100 million a year after principals rejected them for positions, Chancellor Dennis Walcott said Thursday.

The city has about 800 educators who lack school assignments after a principal asked them to leave and they failed to get rehired elsewhere in the system. The so-called absent-teacher reserve pool reached as high as 3,600 earlier this year, Walcott said.

"If they can't get hired by another principal -- even if they don't try to find a job at all -- we still have to pay their salaries," Walcott said Thursday. Nonworking teachers cost taxpayers $100 million a year in salaries alone, he said.

Walcott said that more than 25 percent of the unassigned teachers "have been disciplined for bad behavior" and almost half haven't submitted job applications or attended recruitment fairs.

"Think about that: When unemployment is still high and budgets are tight, we are spending more than $100 million on teachers who aren't interested in teaching," Walcott said.

-- Bloomberg News


Nearly 200 students must retake SATs

NEW YORK (AP) -- School officials said Thursday that 199 students have had their SAT scores invalidated.

Apparently some test-takers were accidentally seated too closely together.

The New York Times reported that students from nearly 50 schools took the SAT on May 5 at Packer Collegiate Institute in Brooklyn Heights.

The test will be given again, at no cost. But students are stressed out over the situation.

Packer Principal Bruce Dennis said the Educational Testing Service told a school liaison that some students had been less than 4 feet apart.

The school said no misbehavior was found but that the people who administered the test will be disciplined.

Testing services have been on increased alert since a cheating ring was uncovered on Long Island last year.


Teacher battles charges of child pornography

NEW YORK (AP) -- A Bronx day care teacher is fighting charges that he possessed and distributed child pornography.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced Thursday that Joshua Conde has been arrested by Department of Homeland Security agents.

The criminal complaint said an investigator traced an IP address at Conde's home to a child pornography file sharing network. It said graphic images found on his computer show young girls performing sex acts with men.

The defendant appeared Wednesday in Manhattan federal court. His attorney, Brian Pakett, said Conde "has pled not guilty, is fighting the charges and looks forward to his day in court."

The joint investigation also included the NYPD.