human capital

Revised hiring rules allow some schools to take in new teachers

Having narrowly escaped laying off more than 4,000 teachers — at least for now — Chancellor Joel Klein is permitting some principals to hire new ones.

Hiring rules posted today on the Department of Education’s website continue, and in some cases tighten, restrictions that have been in place since May 2009. Under the new rules, schools that opened in 2008 or later can hire up to 40 percent of their new teachers from outside the system. Last year, new schools could look outside the system for 50 percent their hires.

Unlike last year, new schools are barred from hiring elementary school classroom teachers who don’t already work in the system. And the exemption granted for science teachers in the past is no longer in place; only a tiny number of license areas are free of restrictions, such as special education and Spanish bilingual education.

Anticipating that principals are likely to cut assistant principal positions this year to meet their slimmed down budgets, the city is also requiring that all schools hire assistant principals from the excess pool. Last year, as in previous years, principals could hire assistant principals from inside and outside the system.

Prospective teachers have only until the end of the month to apply to teach. The rules posted today, which could change as the system’s staffing needs become clearer, are listed below.

2010- 2011 Hiring Guidelines

Please note that this space will be updated if any changes are made to our hiring policies.
Last updated June 7, 2010.

The New York City Department of Education has implemented hiring restrictions for the 2010-2011 school year, meaning schools are not permitted to hire external candidates for their vacancies. However, hiring exceptions have been made for the following subjects, schools, and titles.

Subject Area Exceptions- Teachers

  • Special Education
  • Bilingual Special Education
  • Speech Improvement
  • Bilingual subject areas other than Bilingual Common Branches/Childhood (Spanish) or Bilingual Early Childhood (Spanish).

New and Phase-In Schools Exceptions- Teachers

  • New Schools: Schools in their 1st, 2nd or 3rd year of operation (opened 2008-2010) are permitted to hire externally for up to 40% of their teaching vacancies.
  • Phase-In Schools: Grade 6-12 schools with two or more grades to phase-in may hire external candidates for up to 40% of the teaching vacancies in their expansion grade(s) only.
  • Both New and Phase-in Schools: These exceptions do not apply to childhood (common branches) or early childhood vacancies.

Schools that are searching for external teacher candidates for vacancies will advertise these vacancies in the New Teacher Finder. Candidates must submit a completed application by 5PM at June 30, 2010 in order to be included in the New Teacher Finder.

Other School-Based Titles
Hiring restrictions are in place for all other school based personnel titles except the following:

  • Principal
  • Assistant Principal (candidates must be internal to the DOE, but may be in another title)
  • Parent Coordinator
  • Occupational Therapist
  • Physical Therapist

For information on submitting an application for one of these titles, visit the DOE’s Career page.

money matters

Report: Trump education budget would create a Race to the Top for school choice

PHOTO: Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead
President Donald Trump and U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos participate in a tour of Saint Andrews Catholic in Orlando, Florida.

The Trump administration appears to be going ahead with a $1 billion effort to push districts to allow school choice, according to a report in the Washington Post.

The newspaper obtained what appears to be an advance version of the administration’s education budget, set for release May 23. The budget documents reflect more than $10 billion in cuts, many of which were included in the budget proposal that came out in March, according to the Post’s report. They include cuts to after-school programs for poor students, teacher training, and more:

… a $15 million program that provides child care for low-income parents in college; a $27 million arts education program; two programs targeting Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian students, totaling $65 million; two international education and foreign language programs, $72 million; a $12 million program for gifted students; and $12 million for Special Olympics education programs.

Other programs would not be eliminated entirely, but would be cut significantly. Those include grants to states for career and technical education, which would lose $168 million, down 15 percent compared to current funding; adult basic literacy instruction, which would lose $96 million (down 16 percent); and Promise Neighborhoods, an Obama-era initiative meant to build networks of support for children in needy communities, which would lose $13 million (down 18 percent).

The documents also shed some light on how the administration plans to encourage school choice. The March proposal said the administration would spend $1 billion to encourage districts to switch to “student-based budgeting,” or letting funds flow to students rather than schools.

The approach is considered essential for school choice to thrive. Yet the mechanics of the Trump administration making it happen are far from obvious, as we reported in March:

There’s a hitch in the budget proposal: Federal law spells out exactly how Title I funds must be distributed, through funding formulas that sends money to schools with many poor students.

“I do not see a legal way to spend a billion dollars on an incentive for weighted student funding through Title I,” said Nora Gordon, an associate professor of public policy at Georgetown University. “I think that would have to be a new competitive program.”

There are good reasons for the Trump administration not to rush into creating a program in which states compete for new federal funds, though. … Creating a new program would open the administration to criticism of overreach — which the Obama administration faced when it used the Race to the Top competition to get states to adopt its priorities.

It’s unclear from the Post’s report how the Trump administration is handling Gordon’s concerns. But the Post reports that the administration wants to use a competitive grant program — which it’s calling Furthering Options for Children to Unlock Success, or FOCUS — to redistribute $1 billion in Title I funds for poor students. That means the administration decided that an Obama-style incentive program is worth the potential risks.

The administration’s budget request would have to be fulfilled by Congress, so whether any of the cuts or new programs come to pass is anyone’s guess. Things are not proceeding normally in Washington, D.C., right now.

By the numbers

After reshaping itself to combat declining interest, Teach For America reports a rise in applications

PHOTO: Kayleigh Skinner
Memphis corps members of Teach For America participate in a leadership summit in last August.

Teach for America says its application numbers jumped by a significant number this year, reversing a three-year trend of declining interest in the program.

The organization’s CEO said in a blog post this week that nearly 49,000 people applied for the 2017 program, which places college graduates in low-income schools across the country after summer training — up from just 37,000 applicants last year.

“After three years of declining recruitment, our application numbers spiked this year, and we’re in a good position to meet our goals for corps size, maintaining the same high bar for admission that we always have,” Elisa Villanueva Beard wrote. The post was reported by Politico on Wednesday.

The news comes after significant shake-ups at the organization. One of TFA’s leaders left in late 2015, and the organization slashed its national staff by 15 percent last year. As applications fell over the last several years, it downsized in places like New York City and Memphis, decentralized its operations, and shifted its focus to attracting a more diverse corps with deeper ties to the locations where the program places new teachers. 

This year’s application numbers are still down from 2013, when 57,000 people applied for a position. But Villanueva Beard said the changes were working, and that “slightly more than half of 2017 applicants identify as a person of color.”