NYC schools chancellor ‘confident’ there won’t be a teacher shortage in September

Reopening Schools

NEW YORK — It’s the final day of classes for more than one million New York City school children, but looking ahead to the next academic year, the schools chancellor said she’s “confident” there will not be a teacher shortage.

Meisha Ross Porter took office over three months ago during a year full of twists and turns due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

As the school year comes to a close, President of the United Federation of Teachers Michael Mulgrew warned PIX11 News Wednesday the city could face a possible teacher shortage ahead of September.

However, Porter disagreed. She acknowledged there are teacher shortages across the country, but she doesn’t anticipate that happening in New York City.

The schools chancellor said the city is hiring up to 1,000 new teachers from the pipeline programs, up from 500 last year.

“I’m confident that we will not have a shortage of teachers in New York City for next year,” she said.

The mayor also disagreed with Mulgrew’s warning, saying that the city remains a popular destination for prospective instructors. 

Porter also discussed what class sizes will look like in September, the summer rising program and whether or not there will be remote options next school year.

Remote learning

September will be the start of the new academic year, but some parents may not be comfortable sending their kids back to the classroom. Will there be a remote option?

“At this time, we aren’t considering remote options,” Porter said.

The schools chancellor understands parents’ concerns, but added that the city’s schools are continuing to implement health and safety measures

She also said “everything will be ready to go” in terms of updated ventilation systems and PPE supplies.

Smaller class sizes

There has been a push by parents to have smaller class sizes at school. Will that be implemented?

Due to the pandemic and receiving 100% student funding for the first time, Porter said the city will be able to strategically reduce some class sizes.

Not all classes will see smaller sizes, but Porter said “it’s a work in progress.”

Summer rising

Is there a waitlist for those with special needs?

PIX11 asked the question after Aerika Newsome, a member of the citywide council on special education, said she fears the needs of up to 250,000 students aren’t being met.

Porter said they are prioritizing students with special needs, ensuring families that every student will have a seat if they want it.

Snow days

Snow days of the past will be no more. What does Porter have to say about that?

“We will have fun on snow days, but we will also learn.”

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