Manatee County district officials rehire 69 teachers

eearl@bradenton.comAugust 15, 2013 

MANATEE -- A little more than a third of the teachers who were laid off at the end of the school year have been given new contracts with the Manatee County School District, according to Superintendent Rick Mills.

The district announced at Monday's school board meeting that 176 of the 185 teachers laid off have been employed, but only 69 of those teachers have been rehired in the Manatee County school district.

Of the one-year contracted teachers laid off, 50 teachers did not qualify to be renewed for the 2013-14 school year because they were not rated high enough in their evaluations.

According to a memorandum of understanding sent out to teachers in June, teachers had to have an effective or highly effective rating to qualify for renewal.

The memo was signed by Manatee Education Association President Pat Barber and deputy superintendent of instruction Diana Greene.

In some cases teachers were hired on one-year contracts and were not meant to have their contracts renewed, according to deputy superintendent of operations Don Hall.

"It is a combination of some teachers only being needed for a one-year contract and teachers that were not rated effective or highly effective in their areas," Hall said in regard to just 69 teachers being rehired.

Another 42 teachers are still living in the district, but have accepted employment in another district. Mills said eight teachers have moved, five of whom have found

employment in their new districts.

Mills said that he was not able to reach all teachers to discuss contract renewal.

"Ten teachers had phone numbers that were disconnected," Mills said.

There are still six teachers in the district who qualify for renewal, but Mills said there are currently no openings in the areas for which they are qualified to teach, such as physical education and agricultural science. They are eligible to be placed as those positions open.

According to the memo, teachers in the district were supposed to be reappointed on an annual contract to the schools where they last worked, provided that they are qualified to teach in an open position at that school.

The six teachers that do not have openings for their certifications will be reappointed as their positions become available, under the provisions of the agreement.

"They still have the option of applying to a different school district," Hall said.

Hall said that while he has not seen the curriculums and how the individual school schedules were done, there a couple reasons why positions for those six teachers are not available.

"There is a possibility that they had two teachers in the position and one had less seniority, or the school may have decided to drop that course," Hall said.

"I do not want to comment on why those teachers were not placed because there are lots of reasons that could be."

Hall said he is satisfied with the teachers the district was able to hire back.

"We have met the commitment we made to the teachers when we went through the process of bringing back every qualified teacher we could," Hall said. "That took a lot of work and partnership."

Erica Earl, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081.

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