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240 Manatee teaching positions open

MANATEE — As of Thursday, the Manatee County School District had 240 teaching positions to fill for the upcoming school year.

Those positions, which stem from retirements, resignations and additional teachers needed for class-size limitations, include media specialists, guidance counselors and speech pathologists.

Of 240 positions, about 50 of them are new, with 40 allotted to meet class-size requirements.

“The secondary school principals may need additional teachers to get to class-size compliance,” said Jim Drake, the district’s superintendent of finance. “We’re waiting to get their request for additional teachers. Whatever we have out there now will change. In all likelihood it will go up, I just don’t know how much at this point.”

At the end of this school year, the one-year contracts for 130 teachers were not renewed for either performance reasons or because of shifts in enrollment, Superintendent Tim McGonegal said.

“If a principal hired them once, they’re likely to hire them again unless there were performance issues,” Drake said. “But when we non-renew someone, they aren’t given a reason. It’s typically our policy to not say whether it was performance-related or budget-related.”

Regardless, they are encourage to reapply. But they’ll have competition.

“We go through the same interview process with other candidates,” said Rebecca Wells, the district’s director of human resources. “They can reapply even before the end of the school year.”

The job postings all have an end date and as long as they apply before that, they’re in the pool, she said. Principals then interview candidates and make their decision.

Teachers on one-year contracts are evaluated during the spring and receive feedback from principals, McGonegal said.

“There are some we did hire back already,” McGonegal said. “We extended another offer and they were reappointed if there was a critical shortage in teaching areas like Exceptional Student Education and physics and the school had a place for them. Five years ago we probably renewed almost every annual contract teacher we had automatically because there was a teacher shortage and we were growing by 1,200 students a year. We don’t have that critical state now.”

In Sarasota, it’s a different story. “We do not non-renew our one-year contract teachers unless they haven’t completed required coursework to maintain their teaching certificates,” said Sarasota County Schools Human Resource Director Roy Sprinkle. “We follow a rather lengthy and detailed staffing process that allows us to move teachers into vacancies at other schools and displace teachers who are less senior.”

At the end of the day, he said, if they have more teachers than positions, they place the employees in lay-off status. But Sprinkle said that has happened only one time in the 12 years he’s been with the district.

“And we managed to call all of those teachers back except for three,” he said.

As of Thursday, Sarasota had 72 vacant teaching positions and 27 teachers’ aides and assistant slots to fill.

They were also looking for two assistant principals, one assistant director at Sarasota County Technical Institute and 65 staff members.

Just more than a dozen teachers’ aide and assistant positions also were available Thursday in Manatee. Also on the list: one principal slot at Southeast High and assistant principal positions at Buffalo Creek Middle School and McNeal, Prine and Orange Ridge Bullock elementaries.

The list also included 46 staff members.

School officials couldn’t estimate how many food service industry jobs are available because they are waiting to see what student enrollment will be during the upcoming school year.

The school district employs about 5,700 full-time employees and about 1,000 part-time employees, Wells said.

District job posting numbers fluctuate on a day-to-day basis because positions get filled or are added.

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