The School District of Philadelphia
Office of Communications
440 N. Broad Street, Suite 301~Philadelphia, PA 19130-4015~(215)400-4040


Media Contact: Fernando Gallard



District focuses on providing students with the right teachers, with the right skills for the best possible education

PHILADELPHIA--Consistent with the Action Plan goals to prepare every student for college and career, the School District of Philadelphia announced new staffing guidelines for the 2014-15 academic year. This step represents a continuation and expansion of the changes put into place by the District in the fall.

“Our plan helps each and every student have the right teacher with the right skill-sets to support quality learning. We have seen firsthand the impact the right teachers have on students,” said Dr. William R. Hite, Superintendent. “My top priority is to ensure students have every opportunity to succeed and these changes will better meet the academic needs of our students.” 

The new guidelines will prioritize staffing decisions based on student and school needs; a committee comprised of the principal, teachers and a parent will determine teacher staffing at each school. While the process will continue to include seniority as a factor for some staffing decisions, it will end the practice of using seniority as the only factor in any decisions. Also, substitute teacher services will be competitively bid for the 2014-15 academic year.

“The School District of Philadelphia is focused on providing high quality, flexible and unique learning environments for our children and schools. We must implement these changes now to be ready for the coming school year,” said Dr. Hite.  “In one instance, a high school chemistry teacher who was voted ‘best teacher’ by students lost his job simply because he lacked seniority. We cannot continue to allow that to occur.” 

The administrative changes are consistent with and supportive of the new contract agreed to last week with the Commonwealth Association of School Administrators (CASA), which represents the District’s principals, assistant principals, and other school administrators. With the negotiations for a new contract for teachers at a stalemate, the District has filed a case with the Pennsylvania Supreme Court today to confirm its legal right to implement the needed reforms. 

Dr. Hite added that the District’s actions today are a continuation of the Action Plan work started more than a year ago, and based on proven practices bolstered by research that shows that having great teachers and principals contribute significantly to student success.

“The School Reform Commission supports the Superintendent’s efforts to implement the Action Plan, and we will use every measure at our disposal to ensure our students have a great education in the best schools possible,” said SRC Chairman Bill Green. “The Action Plan and these needed reforms merit additional financial support from the State and City governments.” 

Talented and effective teachers improve academic outcomes for students. Many successful District schools already employ practices – including collaborative teacher planning time – that would benefit all students and teachers.  

The School District of Philadelphia will support teacher talent by:
  • Assigning and transferring teachers in a way that best meets student and school needs
  • Focusing teacher preparation time on improving instruction and professional development
  • Providing additional flexibility so that resources can be allocated to best meet student needs

Since January 2013, the School District of Philadelphia has been seeking changes in its collective bargaining agreement with the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT) that would allow for flexibility in assigning staff to schools.  

For more information on the School District of Philadelphia’s Action Plan v2.0, please visit


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