HISD Continues Working to Match Displaced Teachers with Job Openings
Some positions will be open to external candidates beginning Saturday
HISD has scheduled a pair of job fairs in the coming days in an effort to fill about 200 teaching vacancies.
A state law intended to protect teachers’ rights required HISD to give notice by mid-April to teachers whose jobs are being eliminated because of state budget cuts for the 2011-2012 school year. At that time, more than 700 teachers, representing roughly 6 percent of the district’s teaching force, were given notice. Since then, many more teachers have notified the district of their intent to resign or retire, contributing to the creation of 200-plus current job openings.
Because HISD is a decentralized school district, school principals are empowered to make their own hiring decisions. They were asked earlier this spring to give first consideration to displaced HISD teachers. So far, 230 of the 700-plus displaced teachers have submitted resumes for principals to consider.
HISD conducted a job fair exclusively for displaced teachers on April 30 and roughly 200 of the 700-plus eligible teachers attended. Only two certified high school science teachers attended that event, even though HISD currently is looking to hire dozens of them.
“We’re committed to ensuring an effective teacher in every classroom and we know that many high-quality teachers lost their jobs through no fault of their own as a result of the state budget cuts,” said HISD Chief Human Resources Officer Ann Best. “Not all of our displaced teachers hold the required certifications to be eligible for some of our vacancies which is one reason why we will begin giving consideration to external candidates.”
Because HISD still has vacancies after this period of considering only displaced teachers, the district will soon allow secondary principals to extend job offers to external candidates. Many of the openings are in hard-to-staff subjects such as secondary math and science.
On Saturday, May 21, at Chavez High School (8501 Howard), middle and high school principals from throughout HISD will be on hand to interview all teaching candidates. As of Tuesday, HISD had 85 secondary school job vacancies. HISD anticipates that more than 200 pre-registered displaced and external candidates will attend. Registration is at 8 a.m. and job interviews will be conducted until noon.
On Thursday, May 19, HISD will conduct a job fair for 75 elementary teachers who currently work at four schools (McDade, Grimes, Rhoads, and Stevenson) that will close at the end of the school year. HISD has 112 elementary school job vacancies and most teachers at these four schools are guaranteed jobs next school year because the decision to close those schools came after the deadline for HISD to give teachers layoff notices. Thursday’s job fair will be at Gregory-Lincoln Elementary (1101 Taft) and is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.