The Department of Education is hustling to fill teaching spots just weeks before the scheduled start of the new academic year, Chancellor Richard Carranza said Tuesday.
With families continuing to switch from blended to fully remote learning, Carranza said that final staffing needs are still fluctuating.
“There are still families that had previously indicated a blended learning environment that are switching to a remote learning environment,” he said alongside Mayor Bill de Blasio at a press conference. “The number keeps moving in terms of how many students principals need to program for. So obviously that impacts the number of staff.”
Carranza said the DOE is plumbing every possible staffing source to plug holes — including educators in the Absent Teacher Reserve pool who currently don’t have permanent gigs.
Meanwhile, de Blasio announced that the city would only have 30,000 childcare slots by the beginning of the school year to accommodate parents whose kids will have to learn from home during the workweek.
City Hall had initially suggested there would be 100,000 slots available by the start of school, but Hizzoner said Tuesday that logistical challenges have slowed the process. He said he expected the full rollout by December.
De Blasio also relayed that all 1,485 school buildings have now been vetted for proper ventilation and that 96 percent of them were deemed ready for use.
The remainder will either be fixed prior to Sept. 21 or be taken offline.
A DOE building report released Tuesday indicated that only 43 percent of bathrooms are currently operational.
Asked about that figure, a DOE spokesperson said school restrooms will be limited to single-occupancy, thus lowering the risk of coronavirus transmission.
But many teachers seized on the number to continue to resist returning to their school buildings, arguing that conditions remained unsafe.