In most years, Buffalo school officials have talked more about layoffs than hiring. But this year, the district has started its search for new teachers for the next school year even before this year's classes end for the summer.
It's not as though there won't be any layoffs, with cuts expected among science and reading teachers. But right now there are openings for 24 elementary teachers, and with a push to shrink the size of classes in the lowest grades, there may soon be even more openings. At least one job fair will be scheduled soon.
Retirements are a factor in the number of openings, according to associate superintendent for human resources Darren Brown.
"We're still getting retirement letters every day," Brown said, averaging about 15 every few days. "So we're still taking those retirement letters so we can see exactly where we're going to need to begin hiring."
Brown says there are plenty of people looking for teaching jobs, and those hired are likely to be more representative of the student body than the current teaching staff is.
The mismatch between the teaching staff and the student population was recently criticized in a report on the district from UCLA professor Gary Orfield.