October 31, 2011
In the last month, nearly 10 percent of teachers in the Absent Teacher Reserve have found new positions, according to data the Department of Education released today.
The hiring took place during a time when the department shuffled teachers in the ATR pool to new positions every week, under the terms of an agreement with the teachers union.
The city and UFT say the agreement is meant to match more teachers with open positions. But at a union meeting for ATRs last month, some teachers speculated that the weekly assignments were intended to frustrate ATRs into resignation.
Numbers from the first month have not borne out that theory. Of the teachers who left the pool, 172 found new positions, 11 took a leave from the DOE, and 18 exited the school system entirely. Altogether, nearly 750 teachers have exited the pool since mid-August, when the city said 1,940 teachers were without permanent positions.
The new numbers show that the pool of teachers without permanent positions has settled at roughly the same size every year for three years, even though principals faced with shrinking budgets have cut jobs each summer. There are currently 1,200 teachers in the ATR pool, 77 fewer than last year at this time and 47 fewer than in November 2009.
The 38 percent exit rate is higher than last year, when 28 percent of teachers in the ATR pool in early September had found jobs or otherwise exited the pool by the end of October. The comparison is not perfect: This year’s baseline was measured weeks before the start of the school year, a time when the excess pool typically shrinks as principals fill last-minute vacancies.
Teachers whose positions were eliminated this summer found new jobs at the highest rate. Ten percent of the 1,139 teachers excessed this year who were in the ATR pool at the start of the year found new jobs this month. Teachers who have been in the pool longest were the least likely to have found new jobs. Just 4.4 percent of the 68 teachers who had been in the pool since 2006, when it was created, found new jobs this month.
The 1,200 teachers who remain in the ATR pool include 329 elementary school teachers, 131 science teachers, 109 special education teachers, and 94 math teachers.