New Contract Promises Job Security For Several Tulsa Teachers

Wednesday, December 1st 2010, 5:46 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma -- Several dozen temporary teachers can breathe a little easier at Tulsa Public Schools.

The teachers are all in their first few years with Tulsa Public Schools, but past what would be their normal probationary period. The district was holding off promising them long term jobs, until now.

11/30/2010 Related Story: Stimulus Money Saves More Than 30 Teaching Positions At Tulsa Public Schools

Megan Molina, a second grade teacher at Sequoyah Elementary, is starting her third year, but only in the last week found out that she could expect to keep on working.

"That means I have more job security than I've had in the last couple of years, and I'm very excited," she said.

Last year, and the year before, Molina was told she might not have a job. Like many of the teachers who have started at Tulsa Public Schools over the last few years, Molina was kept on temporary contracts while the district worked out the budget.

"Temporary contract is just that, they're not guaranteed a position for the following year," Ava Hicks, TPS Director of Teacher Talent, said.

The budget crunch also means TPS has all but stopped recruiting to replace teachers who leave and the district only has 12 openings in a force of 3,800 teachers.

"What we're excited is we're actually able to offer these 30 plus teachers a continuing contract, right here before Christmas," Hicks said.

For Megan Molina, the news that her temporary contract is now permanent resolves a situation she never thought she was be in as a teacher.

"I thought I was picking a job where there was job security," she said. "I had no idea this was how the game worked, so I was very surprised to find out this is how it is, you can be let go and come back, it's just kind of juggled up in the air."

The district plans a signing ceremony for the teachers next week. There are still teachers on temporary contracts, but they're the ones still in their 4 semester probationary period.