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Help Wanted: CMS Needs To Hire 342 Teachers

With the start of school just over two weeks away, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools still needs 342 teachers, Interim Superintendent Hugh Hattabaugh says. The scramble to staff classrooms - especially math, science and special education - recalls more prosperous times, when CMS was always in hiring mode. In 2009 and 2010, massive layoffs changed that scenario. This year, then-Superintendent Peter Gorman planned for a worst-case budget that would mean about 600 teacher layoffs, but the district ended up adding 500 school-based employees when the county and state came through with more money than expected. The late addition of so many teachers means CMS will be hauling dozens of mobile classrooms through October, Hattabaugh told the school board. When teacher jobs aren't filled by opening day - Aug. 25 for CMS and most N.C. public schools - principals often end up redoing students' classroom assignments in the fall. Late hiring can also make it tougher to find strong candidates. More than 340 vacancies sounds like a huge number, but CMS, which expects about 138,000 students this year, fluctuates between 8,000 and 9,000 teachers. The better-than-expected budget also means that assistant principals, who took a pay cut last year by having their work schedule cut from 11 months to 10, have been restored to 11-month schedules. CMS vacancies are listed online (the number of listings may not match the total Hattabaugh gave Tuesday night because some jobs have candidates identified but the hiring is not complete): www.cms.k12.nc.us/Jobs/Pages/CareerOpps.aspx