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Shelby County Schools postpones teacher job fair this week, hiring efforts continue

Kyle Kurlick

Shelby County Schools has postponed its teacher hiring fair this week, but the district still plans to connect candidates with principals looking to fill positions before the first day of school on Aug.4.

Since February the district has posted and filled 1,600 positions, said Sheila Redick, who is in charge of the district’s hiring. She also said the district anticipates another 100 to 200 positions will be opened over the next few weeks.

Nearly 1,000 teachers lost their jobs after the district closed 10 schools and lost thousands of students to the Achievement School District, charter schools and six newly-formed municipalities. The district gave those teachers until June 30 to find a new job or lose their salaries and benefits.

Since June 30, Shelby County Schools has hired nearly 300 of those teachers leaving 75 of them still looking for jobs. The district has held numerous hiring fairs for teachers since the spring including one on June 30.

The Memphis-Shelby County Education Association has argued in a lawsuit that the rehiring process the district is using violates the state’s tenure laws. They say that laid off tenure teachers should be guaranteed a job rather than have to search for one.

This is the first year the district is using a “mutual consent” policy that requires the teacher and the principal to want to work together. In prior years, principals were forced to hire teachers based off seniority or teachers were placed by senior-level administrators.

Contact Tajuana Cheshier at and (901) 730-4013.

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