150 excessed teachers wait to find work - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

150 excessed teachers wait to find work

(WMC-TV) - For many teachers in the new Unified School District, Monday was the first day of school.

Although, about 150 excessed teachers are still waiting to find work. Rather than those teachers getting a classroom Monday, schools officials asked them to sign in at the board of education.

According to a school spokesman, this event was held to give teachers who no longer have a school a place to report to on the first day.

"It was a way I guess to appease or to let teachers who are excessed know that they are ... still employed ... they will have a position somewhere in the district," said Memphis Education Association President Keith Williams.

A board spokesman says back in April about 900 teachers were excessed, many because the populations at their schools decreased.

Union officials say the teachers who showed up Monday looking for work are all high performing tenured teachers, some with as many as 30 years experience. While the remaining 150 excessed teachers are still being paid under contract, many are frustrated that they have not been assigned schools yet.

"I think its really sad because you are dealing with people's lively hood, and I think it's a noble profession ... If people want to teach they should be able to teach," said teacher Marva Gumble.

Teacher union leaders say being excessed is taking a toll on teachers who are eager to return to the classroom.

"They are professional people, but it certainly affects their morale it affects their sensibility and their state of mind ... They feel as if they have been discriminated against or left out or not considered so they feel differently they have all kinds of concerns and trepidations within in them," said Williams.

Board leaders say their goal is to place excessed teachers as quickly as possible. They hope to have the process completed by September.

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