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Know Your Rights

Transferring schools

New York Teacher
Green and blue arrows and circles showing a circular process

All UFT pedagogues and paraprofessionals — not just teachers — have the opportunity to transfer to a different school under the Open Market Transfer Plan.

Members may look for and accept a position at a different school during the Open Market Transfer period, which runs from April 15 to Aug. 7 each year.

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

You can apply to either a school or a vacancy posted at a school. You can find the schools and vacancies posted on the Department of Education website during the open period. The vacancies posted are revised as positions are filled and principals post new vacancies, so it’s good to regularly recheck the website. If you are aware of a vacancy at your school that has not been posted, please contact your UFT borough office and your 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. Then you can electronically apply for any and all vacancies in your current license area.

All qualified teachers, including those in excess, can apply for specific positions or send applications to the schools they are interested in. You can also send your application and resume 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 reach out to the school directly.

The hiring process

School-based committees made up of supervisors and teachers may 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. You may also be interviewed by a principal directly, without a committee.

If you’re successful, the hiring principal will enter you into the Galaxy budget and you’ll receive a printed contract, which both you and the principal must sign. That 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 the UFT. Upon request, you can also receive assistance from the DOE’s Division of Human Resources at the Teacher Hiring Support Center.

For more information, read our comprehensive Q&A about the transfer plan on the UFT website