Michael Bloomberg
At his presentation of the his budget proposals for the remaining fiscal year and for Fiscal Year 2013, Mayor Michael Bloomberg warned of the increasing cost of the pension system that, as he said, is in dire need of reform. "Right now, our pension system is fairly described as a ticking time bomb," he said during the presentation. Reuters

Hundreds of teachers gathered Wednesday at the Panel for Educational Policy in Brooklyn to protest the mayor's plan to overhaul more than half of the teachers at 33 schools in the city.

The plan, announced during his State of the City speech, calls for the weeding out of at least half of the city's 33 poor-performing schools and award top-notch educators with a raise of $20,000.

Teachers' unions are in fierce opposition to the mayor's plan, saying that it will harm the students more than help them.

The city idea is a 'gotcha system,' United Federation of Teachers president Michael Mulgrew said. They have this idea that they can go after teachers rather than helping teachers, that's the major difference. But if we come up with a system that truly helps teachers become better throughout their entire careers, could you imagine what the benefit would be to the students of this city?

The UFT, currently waging a lawsuit against the city for its proposed evaluation system, has vowed to fight the mayor's plan, which could result in the removal of 1,750 teachers from the schools.

However, because of city union rules, the mayor cannot fire these teachers. Instead, they will be place in a pool of substitute teachers, costing the city more than $100,000 a year.

Next month, the PEP will vote to permanently close 19 of the city's schools.