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Teachers in Limbo

As negotiations drag on over a new contract for the city’s teachers, one sticky issue involves how to handle teachers who lost permanent jobs during cutbacks but keep getting full paychecks as they bounce around schools for brief stints, filling in for absent staff.

Hundreds spend years in limbo. A city Department of Education analysis in July said the group’s size fluctuates but totaled 1,186 teachers last spring and cost at least $105 million last year in salaries and benefits—after counting the savings from not hiring regular substitutes.