Teacher cuts may be coming at HISD

March 13, 2008 5:22:30 PM PDT
Some teachers' jobs may be on the line during an HISD school board meeting tonight. It's a proposal that's getting a fierce response from the teacher's union.These proposed cuts involve non-core teachers. Primarily these are music, art, and physical education teachers.

District officials say they are looking at cutting anywhere from 25-to-50 teachers. The cuts will be made at schools which are seeing a decline in enrollment.

The union president feels the district sneaked the cuts in because there were no talks about this until late last week.

"What they are doing is stripping these schools down to just the four core subjects and it pretty much guarantees kids will be asking parents for transfers," said the Teacher's Union President Gayle Fallon. "So they are going to kill those schools when they do this."

"This item is not about decreasing programs so much as it is about decreasing the staffing level and we may have to deliver the programming in a different way," said HISD spokesperson Elneita Hutchins-Taylor.

HISD officials will not say what schools will be affected by the cuts, only saying the schools are in the east, northeast and central regions of the city. They predict the affected schools will lose anywhere between one to three teachers each.

Although the district looses about 300 -- 400 teachers a year due to retirement and other reasons, there is no guarantee the teachers who will get pink slips will be placed elsewhere in the district.

The cuts will be discussed at the board meeting this evening at 5pm.

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