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Cleveland public schools need to recruit teachers sooner to fill classrooms
Shortage of teachers two months into the school year concerns some parents

Kevin Niedermier
Teachers Union President David Quolke says the district expected more children to leave for charters
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The Cleveland School District didn’t have to lay off hundreds of teachers after last school year, which is good news. But it’s made it harder to fill open positions in the classrooms.

Some parents and City Council members are concerned that the district still has more than 80 teaching positions open twomonths into the school year. WKSU’s Kevin Niedermier reports on what might be done differently in the future.

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David Quolke is president of Cleveland Teacher’s Union. He agrees with the school administration’s assertion that the district usually fills positions by rehiring laid off teachers, and isn’t as skilled at recruiting and hiring.

So he says the district didn’t do a good job of identifying the number of teachers needed or of seeking new recruits at local colleges and universities.

“Our Cleveland States, our Baldwin Wallaces,  Notre Dame College, John Carroll -- a lot of the colleges locally that produce educators, we should be working with them to fill the positions early on. I don’t think we got a good jump on that identifying the real positions we need ... which left us trying to fill the positions with a pool of teachers out there who may have already been grabbed by other districts.”

Most of the openings are in the harder to fill special-education and language positions.

Quolke believes the recruitment process should start as early as January.

He says another problem is that the district over-estimated the number of students who would leave for charter schools, making the classrooms more crowded than expected. State education officials say large urban districts usually have some teacher openings well into the school year, but Cleveland’s situation appears to be unique.                                                                         


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