Know your rights


New beginnings - stock photo The open period for applying to transfer from your current school to a different one runs from mid-April to early August each year. The decision to transfer to a new school is personal and may be based on a variety of reasons.

Perhaps you are looking for a change in instructional focus, program options, a new school theme, a different principal or administrative tone, or just a more convenient location. If you wish to transfer, there are more opportunities available to you now than ever before.

All members — not just teachers — have the opportunity to transfer to a different school under the Open Market Transfer Plan. Principals began to post anticipated as well as approved vacancies on April 15.

These vacancies are now posted on the Department of Education website at (the hiring system is only available during the open period). The listings are revised as positions are filled and principals post new vacancies, so it’s good to regularly recheck the website.

If you know that a vacancy is available, but not posted, please contact your borough office and district representative as soon as possible with the details. Schools can advertise and select staff for all projected vacancies, but a transfer won’t become final until the vacancy is an approved vacancy and the transferring employee has been entered into the Galaxy budget of the new school.

How to apply

The application process is straightforward. You’ll be asked to complete an online registration form. To do that, you’ll have to create a user ID and password. Once you’ve done that, you’ll be able to electronically apply for any and all vacancies in your current license area. All qualified teachers, including those who have been placed in excess, can apply for specific positions at job fairs or send applications to the schools they are interested in.

You can also send applications and resumes to schools that have not advertised vacancies so that, in the event a vacancy arises, principals will be aware of your interest. We recommend that in addition to filing an online application via the Open Market Transfer Plan system, you also submit a hard copy of your cover letter and resume via fax, mail or in person. Since principals may be receiving many online applications, it might be helpful for them to receive a paper copy of your materials as well as the electronic application.

The hiring process

School-based committees made up of supervisors and teachers will interview candidates. The committee is not required to interview all applicants. It will make a hiring recommendation, but the final decision rests with the principal.

If you’re successful, the hiring principal will enter you into his or her Galaxy budget and you’ll receive a printed contract, which both you and the principal will sign, which makes the transfer official. Your current principal will be notified by the system at that point.

You don’t need a release from your current principal during the transfer period of April 15 to Aug. 7 to accept a position elsewhere. If you are offered a position after that date, the transfer cannot be completed unless you are released by your current principal. The plan places no limits on the percentage of staff who may transfer out of the same school.

If you apply for many positions and are not contacted at all and have had no opportunity to interview, please notify Director of Personnel and Special Projects Amy Arundell, the UFT’s point person for the Open Market Transfer Plan, at

Read our more comprehensive Q-and-A about the transfer plan

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