BEST OF: Early hiring efforts help reduce need for teacher transfers


Editor’s note: During the Thanksgiving holiday, The Hub will take a look back at some of the best and most popular stories from our first semester. This story was originally published on Sept. 25, 2014.

Efforts to fill teaching vacancies prior to the school year are paying dividends during the Dallas Independent School District’s annual review of school staffing.

Less than 1 percent of the district’s 10,000 teachers are expected to be impacted by the review. Through a process called staff leveling, teachers are transferred from a school with lower enrollment than projected to a campus that needs additional teachers. The transfer process is a common practice at schools across the country and emphasizes placing teachers where they are most needed. Dallas ISD projects impacted teachers will begin serving at their new campuses sometime during the next two weeks.

NOTE: See “Staffing 101: Enrollment drives need to reassign teachers”

Dallas ISD hired nearly 100 percent of its teachers prior to the first day of school based on a projected enrollment of 161,000 students. Preliminary figures show the district has met that enrollment, but the distribution of students is different from projections. Because Dallas ISD has the appropriate numbers of teachers for its overall student population, the district will be able to transfer teachers to meet student needs.

“This school year we thought differently and acted courageously in the hiring of teachers, and it’s paid off. Soon we’ll have those teachers exactly where they are needed most,” said Superintendent Mike Miles. “This is a win-win for our students and families.”

School Leadership and Human Capital Management departments work closely together with principals to identify staffing needs across the district. Teachers are transferred when there is a need because of enrollment. The process does not impact individual teachers’ employment status with the district because they remain under their chapter 21 contracts.

“As part of Destination 2020, we want to make sure all students are placed in classrooms that have the right amount of students per teacher,” Miles said. “Leveling allows us to assign staff members in a manner where classrooms are not overcrowded or under-enrolled. Through leveling, our teachers are assigned to schools where their services are needed most.”

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