SCS works to rehire 500 displaced teachers - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

SCS works to rehire 500 displaced teachers

Shelby County Schools (Source: WMC Action News 5) Shelby County Schools (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Shelby County Schools said 500 teachers were essentially fired at the end of this school year.

SCS said nearly half of those teachers have already been hired back in other positions.

SCS sent an email to the teachers losing their jobs. The email told them to go to Messick Adult Center for information on benefits and how to get unemployment, but the email listed the name of every teacher.

That email angers many teachers. They said it violated their privacy and added insult to the injury of losing their job.

"I've had 23 years in the system. I have a masters plus. So yeah, I make pretty good money," a Wooddale High School teacher who wanted to remain anonymous said. "Now I get to go work at McDonald's and try and pay my house."

The teachers lost their jobs because of budget, school closures, and under-enrollment, but SCS is working to hire all of them back in different positions.

"I'm going to miss my Wooddale babies," the teacher said. "It's just--they're my heart. I don't do this for the money. I do this for my kids, and I'm going to miss them. And they're going to miss me."

In past years, SCS said it has hired back 97 percent of teachers displaced because of similar district changes. So far, SCS said it has hired back nearly half of the 500 displaced teachers.

"We hope to be able to re-hire most of these teachers, if not all of our highest-performing displaced teachers," SCS Chief of Human Resources Trinette Small said.

Small said she expects several positions to open up soon. 

"Each year we do have several hundred, or a few hundred retirements. So, those are things that we're still processing," Small said.

But that's not completely reassuring to everyone.

"You still have to go and sit and beg for a position, even though you have one. And if you don't get one, you don't get one," Keith Williams of the Memphis-Shelby County Teachers Association said.

Williams said the displaced teachers will be forced to compete against younger, cheaper teachers for open positions.

The 500 displaced teachers will continue to receive pay and benefits until June 30. SCS hopes to have hired all of them back by then to avoid any lapse in coverage or pay.

SCS said it is organizing a job fair for the displaced teachers. However, the arrangements for that job fair have not been finalized yet.

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