Chancellor Carranza Launches Applications For Second Cohort Of Bronx Plan

  • Posted: Wed Dec 18, 2019

Cohort One celebrates investments including $13 million in capital projects and 500 teachers receiving hard-to-staff differential

NEW YORK – Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza today launched applications for the second cohort of schools for the Bronx Plan Collaborative Schools Model, which was first announced in October 2018 as part of the UFT contract agreement. Cohort Two will bring the total number of schools participating up to approximately 120, and the Bronx Plan will support 180 historically underserved schools citywide over the next three years through the Collaborative Schools model and the hard-to-staff differential.

Bronx Plan schools form a Collaborative Committee where diverse stakeholders including teachers, parents, and school leaders come together to address specific challenges facing each school community. These committees are the foundation of the Bronx Plan work, and help to drive efforts to address key areas that school communities identify as priority, including academics, student services and supports, family and parent engagement, and the school building.

Over the course of year one of the program, many of the 50 schools in the Bronx, Far Rockaway and East New York received $13 million in facilities upgrades and enhancements to libraries, auditoriums and classrooms. In addition, 500 teachers, guidance counselors and school psychologists across the first cohort of schools started to receive the $7,200 hard-to-staff salary differential this school year, which is supporting recruitment and retention. With this hiring incentive, total vacancies in these schools decreased by more than 50 percent this school year from the year prior.

“For too long, a child’s zip code determined their success. We are changing this unacceptable reality by bringing equity and excellence to every school,” said Mayor Bill de Blasio. “The Bronx Plan is working – teacher vacancies are down, students have more support, and facilities are being repaired. This expansion will ensure even more students benefit.”   

“The Bronx Plan brings out the best in our schools—innovation, collaboration, and positive change,” said Schools Chancellor Richard A. Carranza. “I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made in the first year to ensure that academic excellence is achieved through equitable investments in our school communities, and I can’t wait to expand this initiative across the City.”

“We’re very encouraged by the progress so far in the Bronx plan, particularly by the fact that the schools themselves chose where to focus their new resources, and in many cases let the school staff take the lead in recruiting new teachers for their buildings,” said Michael Mulgrew, President of the United Federation of Teachers.

The Bronx Plan was named to reflect the recruitment and retention challenges many Bronx schools face, and highlight the investment this administration is making in supporting these schools. Cohort Two will expand to schools across all five boroughs with the understanding that recruiting and retaining our best educators is a citywide priority.

Cohort Two schools are invited to apply to the Bronx Plan based on staff turnover, student performance, current trust levels among staff as measured by the NYC School Survey, and Economic Need Index. All schools that were eligible in Cohort One will be re-invited, as well as all schools currently on a Bronx Plan school campus. Eligible schools must be located in neighborhoods with an average Economic Need greater than 75 percent. Approximately 330 schools have been invited to apply today, and up to 70 will be selected. Applications are due on January 30, 2020 and involve an agreement from both the Principal and the Chapter Leader, as well as responses detailing specific local challenges within the school community, and ideas for how collaboration and innovation can play a role in the improvement process.

Bronx Plan Cohort One schools included 32 from the Bronx, 11 from East New York and Brownsville and 7 from the Rockaways. Both the principal and the UFT chapter leader jointly completed the school’s application, demonstrating strong collaboration and commitment between labor and management. Through the Bronx Plan, Cohort One schools have:

  • Provided an incentive in recruitment via the Hard to Staff differential, which yielded the hiring of 262 teachers in hard to staff subjects and areas
  • Started this school year with a total of only 16 vacancies, down by more than half from the year prior
  • Increased retention by offering approximately 500 teachers, guidance counselors and school psychologists $7,200 in salary differentials
  • Had 269 facilities projects completed, for an additional investment of $9 million

Ongoing work in Bronx Plan schools includes:

  • 96 projects are still in progress with total costs of around $4 million
  • 16 capital projects, including new camera installations and ten classroom conversions

Identified Bronx Plan Schools in Cohort Two may receive the following supports:

  • Coaching from an expert facilitator to assess school needs and develop data-driven grassroots solutions and planning to address school challenges 
  • Micro-grants annually to support projects developed by Bronx Plan collaborative committees
  • Targeted hard-to-staff differentials to attract and retain staff in traditionally hard-to-staff positions; these differentials will apply for the 2020-21 school year and license areas will be announced later this school year
  • Priority access to centrally-funded Equity & Excellence initiatives such as Computer Science for All, Algebra for All, and AP for All

The contract between the UFT and DOE also has a provision for additional schools to be selected for a hard-to-staff pay differential outside of the full Bronx Collaborative Schools Model. Those schools will be announced this spring. Eligible licenses and titles will be identified by the Chancellor in collaboration with the UFT President. Up to 70 Bronx Plan Cohort 2 schools will be announced later in the current school year.

“I’m pleased that the DOE will be advancing phase two of the Bronx Plan to include Southern Brooklyn schools that have been historically underserved,” said Council Member Mark Treyger, Chair of the Committee on Education. “Focusing on delivering supportive services, quality facilities and higher levels of teacher retention will lead to more opportunities and better outcomes for our students. There is no better return on investment than funding direct services for kids—it’s an investment in our future and, quite simply, the right thing to do.”

“So many schools throughout Brooklyn and the city lack the proper resources to succeed due to historical inequities,” said Brooklyn Borough President Eric L. Adams. “The Bronx Plan has brought much-needed targeted resources and specialized training to Brooklyn's schools in underserved areas. This collaboration ensures the voices of all stakeholders are included. We look forward to continuing this partnership for Cohort Two with Chancellor Carranza, a great champion for our underserved students, and the rest of the Department of Education,” said

“The quality of your child’s education should not depend on your zip code, and I’m happy to see the Bronx Plan providing resources to underserved schools,” said Manhattan Borough President Gale A. Brewer. “I welcome this investment in Manhattan and look forward to continuing to work with Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza on improving New York City schools.”

“I welcome the expansion of Cohort Two of the Bronx Plan Collaborative Schools Model, which grants Bronx and Upper Manhattan public schools with much needed resources to deliver high-quality education to students throughout my district," said Congressman Adriano Espaillat. "I have witnessed the success of this plan and its impact throughout Brooklyn and Queens, where stakeholder-driven investments in school facilities and faculty salaries have reduced staff vacancies by fifty percent. This is a win for our communities and for our students, and I am confident that the expansion of this plan will have long-lasting results and help better prepare our children for success today and in the future.”

"The new Bronx Plan for our schools will provide teachers, parents, and school leaders with the ability to meet the challenges facing our school communities, focusing on student services and support, family and parent engagement, and school facilities,” said Assistant Assembly Speaker Felix W. Ortiz. “I am pleased that several Brooklyn schools will be included in this effort, including PS 24, IS 136, the Red Hook Neighborhood School and PS 371."

"The foundation for a strong educational system is having great teachers in every classroom,” said Assembly Member Jeffrey Dinowitz. “For too long, the Bronx has struggled to attract and retain great teachers in our schools. I am glad to see a continued effort to rectify this problem, and I am hopeful that our students will soon begin to see positive results."

“I applaud the Chancellor’s dedication to not just hire teachers in hard-to-staff schools throughout NYC, but to retain those teachers, and focus on improving schools in neighborhoods with greater economic need,” said Assembly Member Mathylde Frontus. “The district I serve would benefit greatly from the Bronx Plan, because we know that dedicated educators – as well as necessary resources – can make a real difference in our children’s lives.”

“I applaud Chancellor Carranza and the DOE for their commitment to continue investing in our schools,” said Council Member Vanessa Gibson. “In just one year of the implementation of the Bronx Plan, many of our historically underserved schools in Queens, Brooklyn and the Bronx received $13 million in funding for necessary capital upgrades to auditoriums, gymnasiums and classrooms. By prioritizing access to STEM and AP classes for Cohort Two, this plan will ensure that our youth continue to receive a quality education that prepares them to become future leaders and innovators. As this program expands to include schools throughout the five boroughs, I look forward to continuing my work with Chancellor Carranza in increasing opportunities for access to a quality education for students in School District 9 and   throughout the Bronx.” 

“At a time when support services are needed in communities with historical challenges, I’m glad to schools in my district prioritized to receive the added resources,” said Council Member Alicka Ampry Samuels. “Our teachers have consistently went above and beyond in their schools to provide children in need with an educational experience that has proven difficult. Being able to apply for additional resources under the Bronx Plan Collaborative Schools Model will be very helpful and allow our children the opportunity to compete and succeed in their educational endeavors.”

“The success of the Bronx Plan Collaborative Schools Model has shown that when you invest in our students, parents and educators by providing them with the necessary resources to fill in the gaps, every young New Yorker can excel,” said Council Member Donovan Richards. “Ensuring the recruitment and retention of our best educators and expanding opportunities to computer science, algebra and AP courses to all will provide the best education for our students. I’d like to thank Mayor de Blasio and Chancellor Carranza for addressing the challenges in underserved schools across New York City, such as Frederick Douglass Academy VI High School in Far Rockaway.”

The Bronx Plan is aligned to the Mayor and Chancellor’s Equity and Excellence for All agenda, which is building a pathway to success in college and careers for all students. Our schools are starting earlier – free, full-day, high-quality education for three-year-olds and four-year-olds through 3-K for All and Pre-K for All. They are strengthening foundational skills and instruction earlier – Universal Literacy so that every student is reading on grade level by the end of 2nd grade; and Algebra for All to improve elementary- and middle-school math instruction and ensure that all 8th graders have access to algebra. They are offering students more challenging, hands-on, college and career-aligned coursework – Computer Science for All brings 21st-century computer science instruction to every school, and AP for All will give all high school students access to at least five Advanced Placement courses. Along the way, they are giving students and families additional support through College Access for All, Single Shepherd, and investment in Community Schools. Efforts to create more diverse and inclusive classrooms through Diversity in New York City Public Schools, the City’s school diversity plan, are central to this pathway.

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Contact:  Chancellor’s Press Office (212) 374-5141

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