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We use matched employee-employer records from the teacher labor market to explore the trade-offs between the timing of hiring and match quality. Hiring teachers after the school year starts reduces student achievement by 0.042SD in mathematics and 0.026SD in reading. This reflects, in part, a temporary disruption effect in the first year. In mathematics, but not in reading, late-hired teachers remain persistently less effective, evidence of negative selection in the teacher labor market. Late hiring concentrates in schools that disproportionately serve disadvantaged student populations, contributing to challenges in ensuring an equitable distribution of educational resources across students.