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As Bad as They Say?Three Decades of Teaching in the Bronx$
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Janet Grossbach Mayer

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780823234165

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823234165.001.0001

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It Was the Worst of Times

It Was the Worst of Times

(p.36) 3 It Was the Worst of Times
As Bad as They Say?

Janet Grossbach Mayer

Fordham University Press

In 1975, the United States was in the midst of yet another economic crisis, and New York City was close to financial ruin. Mayor Abraham Beame and Governor Hugh Carey looked to President Gerald Ford for a bailout. Mayor Beame successfully negotiated an agreement with Albert Shanker, president of the United Federation of Teachers. City officials said that they had no other sources of cash in reserve and that the teachers' union was all that separated them from declaring bankruptcy. Mr. Shanker agreed to commit $150 million, a huge sum in 1975, of teacher pension money to bail out the city. Even with the teachers' largess, thousands of teachers were let go, take-home pay was cut, and wages were frozen at the pre-June 1975 level. It was at this time that public school repairs ended abruptly — with catastrophic results. This chapter describes the plight of the Carter High School in the Bronx during this time.

Keywords:   economic crisis, Abraham Beame, Hugh Carey, Gerald Ford, bailout, Albert Shanker, public school repairs, Carter High School, Bronx, New York City

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