Disappointing but unsurprising news for those contemplating a Plan B in the classroom.
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools' annual job fair, to be held April 18, has been canceled because of job cuts the system is confronting this year.
In a report to the school board this week, Chief Operating Officer Hugh Hattabaugh cited "unfamiliar challenges" facing the system. Those challenges are twofold, Hattabaugh told me Tuesday: short-term student growth is projected to be minimal, negating the need for more teachers, and the system must shed significant jobs. Last week, Superintendent Peter Gorman told the board that 1,200 CMS jobs - a third of them teaching positions - might have to be cut.
The cuts will create a glut of teaching applicants in the area. Already, CMS has a significant reserve; the job fair drew more than 4,000 last year, the largest turnout ever, and the economic downturn seems to have prompted an increase in job seekers. "Anytime we have an opening at a school, we see a large number of applicants," Hattabaugh said.
That interest includes the Lateral Entry Program, which helps skilled individuals outside the school system become teachers.
Hattabaugh said the system will continue to cultivate relationships with local colleges and universities, often a supplier of young teachers, and he said CMS is always on the lookout for potential Lateral Entry participants. The areas most in need include math, sciences, and languages.
But for now, there are few jobs even for the most-qualified professionals.
"It's not a local issue," Hattabaugh said. "It's a national issue. School districts all over the country are facing these same things."
Your Morning Edge:
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