UFT President Randi Weingarten this afternoon proposed her solution to the problem of “excessed” teachers in New York City--an immediate hiring freeze.
Excessed teachers are those who have lost their jobs because of their schools closing or downsizing and who have not been able to find new jobs because of a new district policy that allows principals to hire those that are a good fit regardless of seniority. The New Teacher Project released a report earlier this week that said the excessed teachers will cost the city $74 million this school year. The project has urged the district to make some changes, like placing nontenured teachers on unpaid leave if they are unable to find a job within three months. Tenured teachers would have one year to find a job before they went on unpaid leave.
But Weingarten said in a press conference that the department of education should establish an immediate hiring freeze for license areas that can be filled by teachers in the excessed pool. She also wants the district to set up a program to recertify excessed teachers in additional license areas so they can fill vacancies as they come up.
“Here we have hundreds of dedicated and experienced educators who, through no fault of their own, were excessed from their teaching jobs and are still looking for permanent jobs after many months of trying to get interviews,” Weingarten told reporters. “We have canvassed 160 of them so far, and they all report that they have applied for 20 or more vacancies in schools without getting a single interview.”
A version of this news article first appeared in the Teacher Beat blog.