Principals are now free to look anywhere for special ed teachers

The incremental thaw of a citywide teacher hiring freeze advanced today, when the Department of Education gave nearly all principals the go-ahead to hire new special education teachers.

Principals in districts 9, 19, and 23 must still fill special education positions from the pool of teachers already employed by the city. Those three districts, located in the Bronx and Brooklyn, have either a low number of vacancies or a high number of special education teachers whose positions were eliminated, according to a DOE spokeswoman, Ann Forte. City officials still have not said how many teaching positions were lost to budget cuts at the end of the school year.

Today’s change is the third since the city told principals in early May they would be able to hire only current teachers for new positions or to fill vacancies. Three weeks ago the city started allowing principals of District 75 schools, which serve the city’s most disabled students, to hire new teachers. A week later, school doors opened for most aspiring science teachers. The vast majority of teaching positions remain closed to new teachers.

The change also means that more than half of this year’s Teaching Fellows cohort are now eligible for jobs. Of this year’s Teaching Fellows, 330 are assigned to teach special education. An additional 70 were assigned to District 75, and others were assigned to teach science.

Below the jump is an e-mail sent to new Teaching Fellows today explaining the change.

Dear [xxx], We are writing with an update regarding Department of Education hiring guidelines. Hiring restrictions on new (external) teacher candidates have now been lifted for special education vacancies, with the exception of Community School Districts 19 and 23 in Brooklyn and District 9 in the Bronx. This means that schools with special education vacancies at either the elementary or secondary level can hire new teachers, including Fellows who are training to teach in special education classrooms. As you continue your job search, be sure to:

  • Notify our office of any interviews that you schedule (remember not to schedule interviews during university coursework or SAF sessions during this final week of training). 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 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.
  • Plan to attend NYCTF placement support events such as interview workshops starting the week of August 10 as well as the additional district-wide Teacher Recruitment Fairs. Further information about these fairs will be communicated shortly before the events.

If you have questions about the hiring guidelines or your job search, please contact our office at or 718.935.4147. Sincerely, Chris, Melody and Abigail Placement Support Office NYC Teaching Fellows