This article was originally published in The Notebook. In August 2020, The Notebook became Chalkbeat Philadelphia.
Visit the School District of Philadelphia’s website, and you’ll find three words written in oversized letters: “We Are Hiring.”
The banner — and its accompanying videos — are intended to entice newcomers to a district plagued by years of rolling teacher vacancies. For current District art teacher Marianne Evans, it’s a bold reminder that she’s still jobless.
“When you’re in a situation such as mine, and you see that, it’s just mind-boggling,” said Evans.
Evans, 55, was recently let go from her position at Spring Garden Elementary School after a provisional, one-year appointment. By her count, Evans has since applied for at least 18 open District positions and received seven interviews. Not one of those seven schools has hired her.
“It was soul-crushing,” said Evans of not getting a job. “I worked incredibly hard, and I just can’t believe I’m in this position where I don’t know whether or where I have a job next year.”
A hiring frenzy has put the School District of Philadelphia on track to fill all its teacher vacancies by September. But not everyone is smiling. The Philadelphia Federation of Teachers said the District disregarded work rules and spurned veteran teachers in its drive to fill every position by June 30.
According to the latest District numbers, 78 veteran teachers don’t yet have jobs — just a day after the District announced it filled nearly every position.