School administrators in Boston have long wanted the freedom to fill classroom posts with teachers of their own choosing, passing over internal candidates and hiring from outside the system if need be. This year, relying on a loophole in the union contract, they have done just that.
But freedom has come with a considerable cost: With the opening of schools just days away, more than 100 veteran teachers have no class assignments at all, sidelined despite a cost in salary and benefits of more than $10 million.
Though lacking classes to teach, the 110 teachers will remain on the payroll because they have earned “permanent” status. It is largely not an issue of competence: In most cases the teachers’ performance evaluations were satisfactory. Just five of the teachers have received unsatisfactory evaluations and another 12 were deemed in need of improvement, according to School Department data requested by the Globe. Only two teachers were rated exemplary.