This article Teachers are Losing their Jobs appeared in the Nation last year. The author describes what ensued after the decision by the Seattle school district to start paying for TFA recruits despite stiff competition for teaching jobs, and a deficit.
In 2009, the Seattle school district was hardly in the grip of a teacher shortage: 13,800 teachers had applied for just 352 full- and part-time positions. But the schools were facing a $25 million deficit, and TFA was asking for a $4,000 annual fee per recruit (area philanthropists would later cover it; on average, schools contracting with the organization pay $5,000 a year for headhunting and support costs). So the district’s decision to pursue a contract with TFA quickly became controversial. In board meetings that were sometimes standing room only, dozens of community members—including parents, teachers and high school students—signed up in record numbers to testify against the district’s contract with the organization, urging the administration to hire more experienced local teachers. Several people even brought homemade signs with slogans like No TFA Needed!
Is the same thing happening in Baltimore? In times of teacher shortages, perhaps we need alternative certification teachers to fill the gaps. But why would Dr. Thornton be fixing the budget deficit by laying teachers off only to hire new, inexperienced teachers in their place?