Has the school district suspended hiring except those positions that are neutral to the general fund? 

School districts may suspend hiring based on the decisions of the school board with a few notable considerations – the terms of a collectively bargained agreement and the statutory and regulatory requirements of both the federal and state governments.

 Depending on the terms of the collectively bargained agreement, a school district may be required to make new hires, even in times of fiscally difficulties.  New hires would be required in order to remain in compliance with the contract.  Examples of this situation could occur if the contract guarantees teachers certain class sizes, certain number of hours teaching, certain number of classes to teach per a day, etc.   These terms may make it necessary to hire a new teacher in order to provide existing teachers with their collectively bargained promises. 

Since school districts are required by the U.S. Education Department and the New York State Education Department, the New York State Board of Regents and the education laws of the state to provide certain educational services and functions, new hires may be required from time to time.  This means that if a school district is lacking a teacher in a certain classification area or lacks a teacher with certain skills, the district may need to hire someone in order to fulfill legal requirements and provided the required educational service.