North East ISD Cuts Administrators, Saves Teacher Jobs

WOAI Radio 1200
Apr. 12, 2011

By Jim Forsyth

The North East ISD has decided to lay off administrators rather than teachers to deal with the state's projected lack of funding for education, 1200 WOAI news reports.

The Board of Trustees decided to eliminate 28 vice principal and other administrative jobs at school campuses, and 41 positions in the central office, and preserve the jobs of first year probationary teachers who had expected to be pink slipped.

"We knew that we could not lose out newest teachers," Superintendent Richard Middleton said. "They are too valuable an asset in the classroom."

Employees who work over 190 days a year, which is essentially all non teaching employees, will also have to accept a two day furlough in the coming school year.

Middleton says the NEISD has been cutting into its budget for the last two years and is in a better position than many districts to withstand what is expected to be budget cuts of $40 million to $60 million in each of the coming two years.

The administrative cuts and furloughs will save the jobs of 89 probationary teachers who had expected to receive layoff notices. North East also rejected a proposal to terminate more than 400 teachers.

"North East is in better shape than other school districts because we saw the state's financial crisis coming as early as 2006, and we took steps to help ensure our financial stability," Middleton said.

Middleton blasted a decision to rewrite the state's corporate franchise tax in the 2005 session, which cuts local property taxes by one third. Middleton blames that tax rewrite for the problems that schools are facing today.

The jobs that will be eliminated, include guidance counselors, assistant principals, and central office personnel.

The board is also freezing salaries, eliminating 233 jobs through attrition, eliminating 'retention incentive pay' for teachers, and not adding new teachers to deal with the growth of the district.