More cuts for Galveston ISD

March 4, 2009 8:49:53 PM PST
More cuts are coming to Galveston's school district. We're hearing how many people could lose their jobs because of those cuts. [SIGN UP: Get headlines and breaking news sent to you]

The Galveston ISD school board approved the cuts at a meeting Wednesday night with the hopes it will save the district more than $8 million. The cuts will take effect next school year.

The board did not eliminate quite as many teaching positions as they initially expected. The total to date is 218 positions. Of those cuts, 88 were by attrition or voluntary. That leaves 130 cuts in the district left and 52 of those will be involuntary from teachers.

The district lost about 25% of its students following Hurricane Ike and the superintendent said the enrollment has been steady since the winter holiday break.

Teachers at the meeting had concerns about the way the board is deciding who will be cut, by deciding how many will go from specific schools, and about the board's approval of 12 new positions.

"We are very top-heavy district. We have lots of administrators. The teachers are the heart of this district. If they get rid of us first, then there's nobody to teach these babies. We have lots of needy children," said Frankie Rochkind, a teacher at Parker Elementary.

Galveston ISD Superintendent Lynee Cleveland said, "It's very, very emotional especially when we know that so many of our families and our teachers are still displaced. Some of them are not even back in their homes yet. It's a morale problem, it's an emotional problem because everybody's is close and the school is like their family. This is very difficult for the board, for me, and, of course, for the people that are being affected."

The board said it will decide on who will be eliminated by looking at performance evaluations. They hope to have all those decisions made by spring break in the middle of March.

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