Fulton Co. Schools May Require 90-Day Probationary Period for New Teachers

Mar 15, 2013

The Fulton County school district is considering a proposal that would require new hires to agree to a 90-day probationary period. That means the district could let those teachers go in that timeframe even though they have a contract.

Credit Fulton County Schools

Fulton County hires 800 new teachers a year. District superintendent Robert Avossa says a small percentage of them are bad hires. But, he says, it’s important to weed them out early.

“The fact that we’d have to leave a low-performing teacher who’s negatively impacting outcomes for kids in the classroom for a full year before we could really address the issue is why we knew we had to make a bold move in this direction,” he says.

Tim Callahan, a spokesperson for the Professional Association of Georgia Educators, says the district will need to exercise the policy carefully.

“No one wants to linger and linger and linger, certainly not," Callahan says, "That’s not good for kids. But on the other hand, we have to be careful we’re not making snap decisions that are harmful both to students and teachers and put us at a disadvantage when it comes to recruitment.”

Avossa says he doesn’t think the policy will affect recruitment. The board is expected to vote on the proposal in April. If approved, it will apply to new hires for the upcoming school year.