New York City Fires Another 850 Unvaccinated Teachers, Aides for Not Complying With COVID-19 Vaccine Mandate


“New York City’s Department of Education (DOE) has axed ( another 850 teachers and classroom aides—bringing the total to roughly 2,000 school employees fired for failure to comply with a COVID-19 vaccine mandate that is increasingly getting struck down in court. About 1,300 DOE employees who took a year’s unpaid leave—with benefits—agreed to show proof of COVID-19 vaccination by September 5 or be ‘deemed to have voluntarily resigned.’ Of those staffers, 450 got a shot by the deadline and “are returning to their prior schools or work locations,” DOE officials told The Post. They include some 225 teachers and 135 paraprofessionals. However, the 850 let go makes roughly 1,950 DOE staffers terminated since the COVID-19 vaccine mandate took effect on October 29, 2021. Rachelle Garcia, an elementary school teacher in Brooklyn for 15 years who refused to get vaccinated and is a mother of two, worked fully in person during the pandemic and never got sick, she said. ‘I really put my eggs in one basket, hoping and praying that at the last minute our mayor would turn everything around in time for me to go back to work,’ Garcia said. Mayor Adams never lifted the COVID-19 vaccine mandate, while other cities and states are dropping such requirements due to relaxed CDC guidelines. ‘I’m angry, I’m hurt, to be cast aside like I was nothing. Because I couldn’t give a proper goodbye to my students, other teachers told me they kept asking, ‘When is Ms. Garcia coming back?’ That made me cry so much.’”

Published by markskidmore

Mark Skidmore is Professor of Economics at Michigan State University where he holds the Morris Chair in State and Local Government Finance and Policy. His research focuses on topics in public finance, regional economics, and the economics of natural disasters. Mark created the Lighthouse Economics website and blog to share economic research and information relevant for navigating tumultuous times.

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