What ‘The Bronx Plan’ Will Mean for Schools

Erin Sonada, ELL teacher (at left), and Kyle Brillante, principal, of the Highbridge Green School in the South Bronx. (phot by Gregg McQueen via The Bronx Free Press)

Earlier this month, Mayor Bill de Blasio and Schools Chancellor Richard Carranza announced the first schools selected to be part of a new program designed to help retain teachers at underserved schools, known as “The Bronx Plan.” Despite the moniker, not all of the first 50 schools of the 180 schools which will be chosen to participate are located in the Bronx. Included are 11 from East New York and Brownsville, seven from the Rockaways – and 32 from the Bronx.

Historically underserved, the schools will receive over the next three years additional resources and certain teachers will receive bonuses of up to $8,000, to incentivize them to remain at the schools. Participating schools were invited to apply to the program based on their location in the city, staff turnover, student performance, and current trust levels among staff as measured by a DOE survey.

Gregg McQueen of The Bronx Free Press spoke with Kyle Brillante, principal of the Highbridge Green School in the South Bronx, which was selected as one of the first 50 participating schools.

“We struggle hiring new teachers,” he said. “Sixty percent of our teachers have less than three years of experience.”

Brillante said that many instructors have been reluctant to come to the Bronx because schools there have traditionally lacked resources.

Erin Sonada, an ELL teacher and the Highbridge Green’s UFT chapter leader, said that “the more teachers we have that are staying in the Bronx, the better for our students and our community.”

Go to The Bronx Free Press to read what de Blasio said about how the schools can decide to spend the extra resources they will have at their disposal, and to learn why Schools Chancellor Carranza said the plan will involve “listening to the people that know this community the best.”

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