Philadelphia School District teacher vacancies, absences have created a staffing crisis in some buildings

Some schools have open jobs in the double digits. “It’s almost impossible to operate buildings with that many vacancies, especially with absences on top of that,” the union president said.

Three months into the school year, the Philadelphia School District has nearly 1,900 vacant positions.

That’s so many that, beginning Monday, about 50 staffers from the district’s administrative offices will leave their posts to answer phones, teach classes, and monitor cafeterias in a handful of schools that Superintendent William R. Hite Jr. has deemed “in crisis with staffing.”

One, Thomas A. Edison High in Hunting Park, has 12 unfilled teaching posts, as well as vacancies in other crucial supporting roles, including climate staffers whose job it is to monitor and regulate student behavior, and special-education assistants. Some of the jobs have been vacant since September, but others come up as staff have quit. With such a shortage at the city’s fourth-largest high school – Edison has more than 1,000 students – hundreds of students freely walk the hallways all day, often causing trouble, multiple staffers told The Inquirer.

“It’s horrible,” Robin Lowry, a veteran physical education teacher at Edison, said of the staff shortage at her school. “We’re just not getting anybody.”

Read more from The Philadelphia Inquirer.

Most Popular