Two weeks from the opening of school and we’re far away from placing all teachers in suitable positions. As of yesterday the system had 115 permanent teachers unplaced while there were still 120 vacancies in our schools. At last count, Madison Park alone had 50+ teacher vacancies. What’s the end game? Instead of placing our surplus teachers — all of whom are experienced, proven and trained — into the vacant positions, the school department regrettably has cast them aside. If ‘cast aside’ is too strong a term, how else do we explain that many of our excessed members have been waiting five months for a position. Many have hardly had an interview!
Again, the unplaced teachers are all experienced and trained. Many were recruited themselves just a few short years ago.
How did they get in this predicament? Some teachers came from schools that were taken over by the state. Some are returning from leaves, such as maternity. Some have been excessed because of programmatic changes or budget cuts. In any case, they are not in this predicament because of their evaluation or their performance.
At this point in the hiring season the department’s position is more ideological than education-based. Many of the excessed teachers could properly fit into existing vacancies. To not give our professionals this opportunity is counter productive–not to mention wasteful of precious resources.
Channel 5 ABC reported on the situation on August 18.