Despite teacher surplus, MCS Board to consider more hires - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Despite teacher surplus, MCS Board to consider more hires

(WMC-TV) - While Memphis City Schools tries to find jobs for its surplus teachers, the school board will consider entering a $1.4 million deal Monday that requires the district to hire more teachers.

Some Memphis City School Board commissioners said they are perplexed by this item on the agenda.  It calls for the district to enter into a contract with Memphis Teacher Residency.

The program would require Memphis City Schools to find a teaching position for each MTR resident.

"You're displacing existing teachers and bringing in new teachers that are getting new assignments, plum assignments in some instances, and it flies in the face of what's fair," said Commissioner Rev. Kenneth Whalum.

"I cannot understand why we have teachers all over this place, doing everything from custodial work to walking the halls and serving as monitors in cafeterias," said Commissioner Sara Lewis.  "And we're going to bring in, I stand to be corrected.  If that's what people want, I want them to call me and tell me."

MTR is a teaching certification program for candidates who commit to complete one-year master's degrees and then teach three years in Memphis City Schools.

The money would come from Tennessee First to the Top Funding.  That money comes from the federal government's Race to the Top competition.

"It's almost as if we are being guided by the philanthropic dollars, by the donors, by the grants, and it just doesn't feel right," said Whalum.

Lewis said she is concerned about what will happen to existing teacher's jobs when new teachers from MTR are hired.

"When we lay off all these people who are Memphians, and we import others, Memphians don't understand that," said Lewis.

Action News 5 was unable to reach Memphis City Schools spokespersons about the contract on Sunday.

Lewis said she is sure there is a good reason to enter the contract and is anxious to hear what it is at Monday's school board meeting.

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