400 Philly School Staff Being Re-Hired

Music and sports back too.

Thanks to the Corbett administration’s release of $45 million in state funds, the school district can now hire back 400 laid-off staff, including teachers, secretaries, counselors, and assistant principles.

The rehiring of the workers, who had been laid off during the district’s fiscal crisis, will begin immediately, and assignments will be finalized over the next few weeks. The new money also will let the district dramatically reduce the number of students in split-grade classrooms, [Superintendent William] Hite said, as well as extend music education and athletics for the full school year.

The main stated reason the money came through? As teachers are re-hired and shuffled around the district to fill gaps (the “leveling” process) schools can now consider factors other than seniority. That said, the Inquirer reports, school principals only had until 3 p.m. Wednesday to inform the district if they wanted to assign teachers not based on seniority.

Principals had less than 24 hours to come up with that “compelling reason” and show that their school would be adversely affected by the loss of a less-senior teacher, according to a memo obtained by the Inquirer.

The school district is still seeking $133 million in labor concessions, which Superintendent William Hite says would result in 1,300 teachers hired back. The mayor and City Council are also still wrangling over how to come up with $50 million in expected school funding. [Inquirer]