Hundreds of New York City teachers who are paid full salaries to do nothing while they await disciplinary hearings will be released from the city's "rubber rooms" this fall.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg and the teachers' union announced a deal on Thursday that will reassign most of the teachers to administrative or nonclassroom work while their cases are pending.
Paying teachers full salary and operating the temporary reassignment centers have cost the city tens of millions of dollars a year.
The city says 650 educators, mostly teachers, are in the rubber rooms today. Some have spent years in the centers playing Scrabble, reading or surfing the Internet.
School officials have blamed union rules that make it difficult to fire teachers. Teachers have said they are singled out unfairly.