The same day the city announced a total hiring freeze, the Department of Education began lifting one of its own.
Last night, the department e-mailed new Teaching Fellows assigned to District 75, the city’s school district for the most disabled students, to let them know that they can now be hired for open positions in the district. For months, Teaching Fellows and all other teachers not already working in the system have been shut out of consideration for all positions at the department, the result of a cost-saving hiring freeze enacted in early May.
The change means that about 10 percent of the city’s new Teaching Fellows are now eligible for positions, because about 70 of the 700 fellows currently in training have been assigned to District 75, according to a department spokeswoman, Ann Forte. (Another 330 of the 700 are being trained as special education teachers to work in general education schools, she said.) Previously, those teachers and others not already in the system could be hired only by new schools, and only in small numbers.
Another set of novice teachers so far shut out of most positions, those hired by Teach for America, will not be affected by the change, because TFA does not assign teachers to District 75, Forte said. Paraprofessionals, aides who work with needy students, are still barred from hiring and remain at risk of being laid off, even from District 75 schools, she said.
The hiring restrictions were partly intended to make room for teachers whose positions were likely to be lost to budget cuts, but who will remain on the city payroll because of the teachers union contract. District 75 marks the first place where the restrictions have been eased. The city still has not released numbers on how many teaching positions were cut.
Forte said the education department is waiting for guidance from City Hall about how the citywide hiring freeze announced yesterday would affect schools. When he announced the freeze, Mayor Bloomberg did say that exceptions would be made in certain high-need areas, but he did not specify what those areas were.
Here’s the full e-mail sent to District 75 teaching fellows yesterday:
We are writing with an update regarding hiring guidelines. As of today, hiring restrictions on new teacher candidates have been lifted for District 75 schools. This means that principals in District 75 schools can hire new teachers, including special education Fellows who have been assigned to District 75.
Please note that District 75 serves special education students with moderate to severe disabilities. Only Fellows assigned to District 75 should accept positions in these schools. Rarely do District 75 principals hire Fellows who are not in training to serve District 75 students. If you are offered a District 75 position, please contact the placement support office at 718.935.4147.
We will continue to keep you updated regarding developments in the hiring guidelines, and you will have access to real-time information regarding when and where principals can consider new hires.
As you continue your job search, be sure to:
- Build a network at your field training site, including your cooperating teacher, principal, and other administrators as well as your FA and FV.
- Notify our office of any interviews that you schedule (remember not to schedule interviews during university coursework or SAF sessions). Please let us know where you interview, the name of the person that interviewed you, how it went, and what next steps you plan to take. You can e-mail this information to email@example.com. Once we know you have interviewed with a school, we can help to follow up with hiring representatives.
- Use the Job Search Action Plan located on the ‘Job Search’ tab of your My NYCTF page to guide you in your job search.
- Continue to network with other Fellows, contact schools and send out your resume.
- Schedule interviews that do not conflict with your training schedule. You may not miss coursework or SAF to interview. You may be excused from field training once per week to interview, but must notify your FV, cooperating teacher and/or site supervisor in advance of any scheduled interviews.
If you have questions about the hiring guidelines or your job search, please contact our office at FellowsPlacement@schools.nyc.gov or 718.935.4147.
Chris, Melody and Abigail
Placement Support Office