PHILADELPHIA - The School District of Philadelphia has started its annual hiring push early this year to fill education and support positions as early as January.
The district recruitment effort, named "LOVE your Today, Shape their tomorrow," is seeking principals, assistant principals, and teachers for all subjects and grade.
Officials say the district normally hires 800 new teachers to support a system of 9,000 teachers, 220 principals and more than 250 assistant principals across Philadelphia's 221 public schools.
The district is launching its recruitment process early this year in an effort to help teacher get connected to and hired at schools for the 2022-2023 academic year as early as January.
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Takia McClendon, a 4th grade teacher at North Philadelphia's Bethune Elementary School, is a model of what the district is looking for in new recruits. A former apparel buyer for running stores, she wanted something "more fulfilling" and began teaching math, science and health at the pre-k through 8th grade school.
"I also grew up in the School District as a native, I didn't always have teacher that looked like me, I didn't even think I could be a teacher," McClendon said.
Starting salary is $50k a year and rising to a peak of $99k, according to the district. Nearby Montgomery County starts its teachers in the range of $45.5k to just over $60k.
"We need teachers. We need qualified, highly qualified teachers. We need a diversified workforce that looks like the children of Philadelphia," Bethune Principal Aliya Catnach-Bradley said.
The district is also offering incentives to pull in candidates including tuition reimbursement and bonuses.
"We are not going to let the fact that we’re the largest, poorest city deter us from going after the very best teachers- -to get in line first," Superintendent Tony Watlington said.