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City opens doors to new physics, G&T, and ESL teachers

In a Friday afternoon gift to prospective teachers, the city announced today that it is relaxing hiring restrictions in a few more subjects.

Principals are now allowed to look outside the city’s current teaching corps to fill physics, gifted and talented, and elementary English as a second language positions. Applicants who want to teach gifted classes must have special certification from the state.

The positions join a handful of others that are exempt from the Department of Education’s teacher hiring freeze, which was instituted to curb costs in May 2009.

Today’s announcement gives some hints about what kinds of positions principals are cutting — and what kinds they’re keeping. The fact that some principals are evidently seeking physics, gifted and talented, and elementary ESL teachers suggests that those subjects didn’t suffer major cuts. When restrictions in other areas were lifted last month, a city spokeswoman, Ann Forte, said there were more open positions in those areas than there were teachers whose jobs had been eliminated.

The city still has not said how principals chose to spend their slimmed-down budgets, or how many teaching jobs they chose to cut.

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