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District to call back 325 laid-off teachers

This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.

[Updated with Matthews quote; the District issued a statement.]

An initial group of 325 teachers who were laid off in June will get letters this week inviting them to take placements in schools, a District spokesperson told the Notebook Monday.

Additional teachers may be invited to return to positions in the District "over the next couple of weeks," according to spokesperson Elizabeth Childs.

The total number recalled may grow this month to over 400, said Estelle Matthews, the District’s chief talent development officer.

Last week the District posted its vacancy list and the teachers’ union posted the schedule for filling those positions over the next two weeks through forced and voluntary transfers. At the District’s nine Promise Academies, a separate site selection process is underway, though the District and union are still awaiting an arbitrator’s ruling about the District’s decision to protect Promise Academy staff from layoffs.

In all, according to the District, there are 1,335 current vacancies as of Monday.

Of those, according to a Notebook analysis:

  • more than 1,150 are full-time positions for classroom teachers, counselors, and librarians;
  • more than 50 are preschool positions;
  • and 36 are positions for speech and hearing teachers.

The rest are part-time positions, many of them for art, music, special education, and ESOL teachers.

According to the union, there are 930 teachers who were force-transferred, but not laid off, who will choose their positions prior to any placement of the teachers who are being called back.

"The District and school administrators continue to work to have all schools fully staffed and ready to educate students on September 6," Childs said.

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