Buffalo Public Schools are looking for teachers, with a hiring event Tuesday. They are seeking applicants from the broader pool of this time of year rather than that of late summer.
Buffalo always needs teachers because there is always turnover plus everything from serious illness to maternity leave to open up temporary spots. This hiring event is looking for 75 permanent teachers, from music to social studies, and there are also some one-year appointments available.
"We're covering attrition, meaning retirements and separations, but we're also covering leaves of absence," said Human Resources Associate Superintendent Jamie Warren. "Teachers notify us in the spring if they are going to be out for an entire year and that's an opportunity to hire someone for one year of employment. So our offers will be for both vacant positions, through attrition, but they'll also be to cover leaves of absence, so we will be able to lock those in as well."
In very recent years, the district has tried to hire earlier in the hiring cycle, when the hiring pool is larger. It has also sent recruiters to Puerto Rico for teachers, as 1,500 Puerto Rican students have flooded into the city school system in the wake of Hurricane Maria.
Warren said this event will be more than just doing interviews.
"We are going to extend contingent employment offers, so teachers will know in March that they have an offer for September," Warren said. "So it's an exciting opportunity to reach the top talent early and extend offers in March."
Warren said there are fewer people out there looking for teacher positions. Even a traditional source of teachers, the Historically Black Colleges and Universities, aren't training the ranks of teachers the schools once did.
"We are definitely, nationwide, seeing a decrease in enrollment," Warren said. "In February, I went to a HBCU, Historically Black Colleges and Universities, recruitment event and there were actually more recruiters there than candidates and we were all kind of trying to pull them in our own directions because there aren't a lot of them coming out of the HBCUs."