Updated 08/19/2012 03:25 PM
Some area districts see large number of applications for open teaching positions
As the start of a new school year nears, area districts have received hundreds of applications for open teaching positions. Our Beth Croughan found out more about what the numbers mean for both job seekers and school administrators.
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CAPITAL REGION, N.Y. -- This year, the Troy City School District had nine open teaching positions.
"There are some of them that will go anywhere from 1,200, to 1,500, 1,600 applicants per position," said Troy City Schools Interim Superintendent Dr. Brian Howard.
In Schenectady, there were about 10 open slots and the Superintendent said they received more than 1,700 applications. That number, he said, is relatively stable. The amount they can hire though, not as much.
"It certainly does make the selection process a little harder when we're only hiring, you know, one out of 700 candidates. As opposed to other years, where you know, we might be hiring 15," said Schenectady City Schools Superintendent Laurence Spring.
There's another difference Spring found compared to other years…
"Far more applicants now that, you know, have previous teaching experience. They've been laid off from another district, so that's a little bit higher percentage now," he said.
According the spokesman for NYSUT, about 32,000 teachers and school staff have lost their jobs since 2008. He added an estimated 5,000 were laid off for this coming school year.
"Not only do you have thousands of highly dedicated, competent, professional teachers who have been laid off. You also have the colleges of education that are producing eager young graduates," said NYSUT Spokesman Carl Korn.
Korn said it is "a very difficult time to be a teacher, looking for a job."
"The bright side, if there is a bright side to this, is that there are thousands of very dedicated highly qualified effective teachers out there," he explained.
That's how Troy's Dr. Howard sees it: An opportunity to build the school's faculty and strengthen the students' future.
"Every year, we maintain this level, we're going to find premiere outstanding replacements. And I think we're going to strengthen teaching overall over the next decade because of that," said Howard.