Saturday, April 2, 2011

Teacher Layoffs Growing in Texas

Yesterday, Fort Bend ISD, near Houston, announced it was laying off 470 employees. 195 of those were certified teaching positions. The district says that some of these teachers will be reassigned to new schools but doesn't say how many.

May 25, Round Rock ISD, my home district, announced 280 employee layoffs, 234 of them probationary teachers. Those are generally new teachers in their first two years of employment. The district warned that the next round of layoffs will come from contracted employees - meaning those teachers and staff beyond their probationary period. They also announced that classroom ratios will be increased next year to 27:1 for middle and high school and 21:1 for elementary.

Austin ISD voted March 28 to eliminate 490 positions. Some are administration but most are teaching and support staff.

Dallas ISD is looking at eliminating almost 3,000 positions, of which 1,300 will be teaching positions.

To the individual who told me that teachers wouldn't be losing their jobs, that it would just be a shell game moving costs to another budget line, I say this:

Forcing early retirement may seem like a shell game, and some teachers will take early retirement, but the lion's share of these layoffs will come from those who can't do that - the probationary or new teachers. They're now stuck with student loans and no job. Their jobs will be gone. Not shuffled around to another school, not reassigned to a different place in the budget but simply gone. When all is said and done, after school districts have reassigned who they can, encouraged others to take early retirement or resign, there will be fewer teaching positions. More students in the classrooms for the teachers that remain. Fewer support services for those students and teachers. Ultimately, those who will suffer the most are the students.

This is a nightmare. And not one we as a state will soon wake from.


Lesley said...

I worry about the future of our country. Billionaires are protected, while teachers and other public employees are blamed for our economic woes. We've all lost our minds.

Anonymous said...

I read a comment on the Austin American-Statesman website where the person said public education should be done away with. They felt that only one parent in a household should be working (people have become "too greedy") and the other parent should be home-schooling the kids.

I think the ijits in this state are actively working for that to happen. God help us...