Chancellor Klein Reverses Hiring Freeze

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Schools Chancellor Joel Klein is reversing a hiring freeze on new teachers that was supposed to have taken effect today.

In a letter to principals, Klein said he wanted to give them freedom over the hiring process by choosing candidates that best match their vacancies. Had the chancellor not lifted the hiring freeze, principals would only have been able to choose among those teachers who were temporarily without assignments, a term known as excessing and which is common before the start of a new year.

A spokesman for the Chancellor says the move was consistent with giving principals more power over their schools.

In this latest memo the chancellor also encouraged principals to consider Assistant Principals that have been excessed. The principals union had complained the day before about a letter in which the chancellor said he was spending millions of dollars creating jobs for more than 40 assistant principals because he didn't want to force them on any schools.

The union said the assistants were not unworthy in any way, and that most were without positions because of restructuring and other changes in the Education Department.