City Teacher Earns $63k to Teach One Class of Five Students

City Teacher Earns $63k to Teach One Class of Five Students

BALTIMORE (WBFF) - A Baltimore City School is coming under fire from its own teachers, including one who says her salary is being wasted.

New Era Academy, in south Baltimore, has 25 teachers. Four recently contacted Project Baltimore. Two went on camera. But fearing retaliation, they asked us to conceal their identities.

“The staff is fearful,” they told Fox45. “It's cold. It's nasty. It's hostile. There's no leadership in that school.”

New Era in one of the city’s most underperforming schools. According to state testing data, 290 students took state Math and English tests last year. Zero tested proficient.

But instead of demanding more money for a challenging job, one teacher says she just wants the chance to earn her paycheck.

“I'm a good teacher,” she told Project Baltimore. “And there's no reason why I should just teach five children a day. Someone needs some help somewhere in the system.”

This certified teacher makes $63,143 a year to teach five students in one class.

For the rest of the day, despite earning a full salary, she says, “I just sit there because that's what they want me to do. I've objected to this arrangement.”

Earlier in the year, she sent a letter to City School Human Capital Officer, Jeremy Grant-Skinner stating, “There is absolutely no reason I should be assigned to teach five students.” But nothing has changed.

“It's criminal, as far as I'm concerned. It really is,” the teacher added. “This is not their money. It's my money, it's your money, it's a lot of people's money. They shouldn't be allowed to squander it in this manner.”

Project Baltimore received this statement from North Avenue:

“City Schools has been working with the New Era Academy community to create a strong high school program in Cherry Hill. The school has a new principal this year and, beginning next year, will change from a middle/high school to serve only the high school grades. It will expand its career pathway in seagoing transportation, creating opportunities for students to prepare for in-demand careers at the Port of Baltimore or elsewhere in this important industry. At the same time, the school is strengthening other academic programming and building a strong school culture through mentoring, community and industry partnerships, a focus on restorative practices, and rich extracurricular and athletics programs.

These efforts are bringing significant change to New Era Academy. Change can be challenging, and sometimes results in complaints. Part of building a successful school community at New Era Academy will focus on creating a culture where concerns can be discussed and resolved productively, rather than through negative attention.” - Edie House: Office of Communications New Era has 334 students, from sixth to twelfth grade. But these teachers say few show up. According to District records, 76% of students are chronically absent– five times the state average.

“There are students that I've never seen, that are what we call no-shows, that have never stepped foot into my classroom,” one teacher explained.

When students are in school, these educators say, they skip class to roam the hallway. Fights are common. Suspensions have more than doubled since 2015.

“It's not a safe environment for learning. It's not a safe environment to physically be in,” added the same teacher.

The educators also explain how students smoke marijuana in the school, every day.

“It happens all the time,” they both stated. “That's something that we've grown accustomed to.”

But now, they’re tired of it all.

“I reach out to Project Baltimore because our teachers and our students deserve better,” concluded the one teacher.

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