I've been told teachers could only get approved for courses at one of three colleges. Two are on Long Island and Queens. These are expensive, private schools. Tuition is undesirable for all and location is awful for many. The other, a city college is located in the most inconvenient borough of all--Staten Island.
In addition to the restrictive locations, course study was also severely restricted. Instead of courses in mathematics, English literature, history or anything remotely connected to the areas people teach, everyone is taking a course in data analysis and writing across the curriculum. Taking courses that would actually improve teaching were not permitted.
It seems the city did everything possible to make sabbaticals as difficult as possible. No consideration of people or children was even considered. Taking the sabbatical to improve teacher quality is non existent with these courses that will not help anyone in the classroom.
On the plus side, these courses only meet one day a week so the teachers have plenty of free time to play. This is how the city will justify doing away with sabbaticals. Sabbaticals like these will not help education at all.
I've just been told that there are sabbatical people in other locations, taking real courses. I hope the friend who told me this is wrong. Maybe she was just scared into believing it and followed protocol in hope of not being denied.