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Written by Candi Peterson Eastern Senior High School, was the site for the first DC Public Schools teacher job fair held on May 9th. Surprisingly, it was not as crowded as it had been in years past. In fact the number of educators present seemed sparse and a little over 100 teachers. This year, 333 teachers were officially hand delivered excess notices on Friday, May 4, 2012 which means they will no longer hold their current positions at the end of the school year. By definition an "excess is an elimination of a Teacher’s position at a particular school due to a decline in student enrollment, a reduction in the local school budget, a closing or consolidation, a restructuring, or a change in the local school program, when such an elimination is not a ‘reduction in force’ (RIF) or ‘abolishment."
According to a press statement released by DCPS earlier this week: "Excessed employees have until August 15 to find a placement for next school year. After that point, all unplaced excessed employees with Effective or Highly Effective ratings will have access to two options under their union contract: a $25,000 buyout or a “grace year,” during which they will be placed at a DCPS school. Probationary WTU members, and those with less than satisfactory performance ratings, will be subject to separation on August 20."
Of course the 333 excessed Washington Teachers' Union (WTU) members does not include other school staff positions that will be excessed by DC Public schools later on in the year including school administrators (i.e. vice principals, etc.), school psychologists, special education coordinators, educational aides, dean of students, secretarial staff and other positions. Stay tuned for more on this later.
Only 40 schools showed up to set up tables at Eastern's job fair in SE DC. The job vacancy list includes some positions that have already been filled. At the job fair, excessed teachers and those interested in a voluntary school transfer could meet with principals, give them their resumes and sit for a mini interview. A common complaint from teachers was that schools they were interested in were either not present or they were told that someone will be in touch with you later. Despite a recent press statement from DCPS that 60% of excessed teachers would be rehired, teachers at the job fair voiced skepticism about finding a replacement job especially given that some of the advertised positions may be filled by new hires.
The next job fair is scheduled to be held at Wilson Senior High School on Saturday, May 12 starting at 9-11 am. Wilson Senior High School is located at 3950 Chesapeake Street NW Washington, DC 20008