600 Days – Paid Not to Teach


According to the daily counter on my smartphone, today is 600 days since I last taught a class. I can bore you with the details of what has transpired in the last 600 days, but it will take long and you can just as easily peruse through www.educatorfightsback.org

What I will share with you is that countless students have suffered. If I was considered a bad teacher or dangerous to students, maybe not, but there is no one who has come out to make that statement. Not even Principal Hill.

In the beginning of 2012, allegations against me started mounting exponentially . When former Superintendent Erminia Claudio requested I be removed in March 2012, she was told “there isn’t enough to get him out.” So, with the help of teacher Susanne Abramowitz and former Chapter Leader Richard Candia, the administration at my school continued to “make things up.”

It got to the point that this email below was sent the day before my actual removal.

Before Reassignment

Apparently the straw that broke the camel’s back was…..

The reason I have been paid not to teach was…

The reason this case has cost the taxpayer over $300,000 in salaries, legal fees and man-hours is….


He was removed from I.S. 49 and reassigned to a Queens location last April because he wrote something threatening about fellow staff members.” -Principal Linda Hill

Now it’s been 600 days and do you know how many investigators questioned me about these alleged threats to staff (or anyone) None. Not once was I questioned about this ever so serious allegation. Oops.

Check the 32 allegations made against me. Never an allegation or investigation.

So serious was this allegation that the Office of Personnel Investigation’s (OPI) Edward Schlenoff, HR Executive Director Andrew Gordon, Deputy Counsel Tracy Cooney, General Counsel Courtenaye Jackson-Chase, Theresa Europe, Deputy Chancellor David Wiener and others approved my removal. And yet…no one ever questioned me about it. So serious was this fake allegation that even as I try to attend school functions as a UFT Chapter Leader or even member of the public, I am barred.

I can walk into any one of the 1,800 schools in NYC except one. I am assigned to a records room that is ten feet from a 2nd grade classroom. That threat must have been very serious.

In fact, I happen to be the Staten Island Coordinator for the First Lego League Robotics Qualifier in Staten Island. I was last year. There were 200 students in a attendance at the Petrides School where I organized the event. The principal and superintendent knew, but it was not a problem.

As many schools, including Petrides, have construction going on in their gymnasium and other events, I looked to see if we can hold this year’s qualifier at my school of IS 49.

Here is Principal Hill’s response.


From:Hill Linda (31r049)<LHill2@schools.nyc.gov>
Date: Mon, Dec 16, 2013 at 11:50 AM
Subject: RE: FLL Robotics Qualifier at I.S. 49
To: Francesco Portelos <fportelos@gmail.com>, “fllteams@usfirst.org” <fllteams@usfirst.org>, “shermon@poly.edu” <shermon@poly.edu>

Mr. Portelos,

The FLL Robotics Qualifier may be held at IS 49 provided that a permit is obtained for both days. However,legal counsel has advised me that, due to the fact that you have been charged under Education Law Section 3020-a and are reassigned from IS 49 pending the hearing, you are not allowed to access the school or participate in school-based activities. Accordingly, you are not allowed to enter the school for any purpose. Someone else will have to apply for the permit, and oversee the Qualifier.


Ms. Hill


You have to love the legal counsel.I have done a really good job of not letting this ugly saga interfere with the FLL Robotics, but here the legal department had no problem.

Stay tuned…

About Francesco Portelos

Parent and Educator fighting for the student and the teacher.
Bookmark the permalink.


  1. That’s pure insanity… Please make sure to forward this foolishness to the new Mayor! Make him aware of the waste of money and the hurt inflicted on the children!

  2. Hey…u and about 2,500 other qualified,teachers are being paid not to teach…

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.