March 16, 2017
The School District of Philadelphia is rolling out a series of advertisements aimed at enticing aspiring educators as part of an aggressive plan to hire as many as 1,000 new teachers in advance of next school year.
District Superintendent William Hite described the hiring push as an opportune time for teachers of all backgrounds to enter a school system that, he said, is seeing an influx of funding after years of cutbacks by the state.
“This is a great time to teach and work in the School District of Philadelphia," Hite said. "We are hiring and continue to add to our teacher force, especially in the areas of early literacy. We are in the second year of a $440 million investment plan and we are seeing progress across the city."
The package for new teachers and counselors without prior experience is a starting salary of $45,360, while nurses start at $51,113. Those with experience will receive higher compensation.
Details of the recruitment campaign were spelled out in a district news release, which did not make mention of the ongoing contract stalemate between the school district and the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers.
Members of the teachers union have been without a contract for five years, during which time there have been no raises. An offer made by the district was rejected last fall and progress on negotiations has since stalled.
Frustration among teachers boiled over this month with a crowdfunded billboard campaign slamming the school district and demanding a "fair contract."
The school district currently has an annual retention rate at around 90 percent, but with such a large workforce, that still means hiring as many as 1,000 new teachers, counselors and nurses each year.
Grade levels in greatest need of certified teachers are kindergarten through third grade and ninth grade, with additional needs for teachers in grades four through eight.
Interested applicants can learn more at jobs.philasd.org. An information session attended by Dr. Hite and district teachers will be held at 4 p.m. on Thursday, April 6 at 440 N. Broad Street.