Conroe ISD says no teacher layoffs expected

April 15, 2011 4:12:27 PM PDT
While school districts across Texas are being forced to make drastic cuts, some school districts are in a better position than others. Houston ISD and Katy ISD are letting go of hundreds of teachers, but Conroe ISD, for instance, is not having to lay off one single educator. The district has some unique circumstances that make it less vulnerable to state budget cuts.

What's happening to Theresa DeLong is considered unusual -- she gets to keep her job.

"I'm happy to be here," said DeLong.

She's a teacher at College Park High School in The Woodlands. They are part of the Conroe Independent School District and one of a few districts who can say this.

"Right now, our expectation is to not lay any of our teachers off," said Dr. Chris Hiens, Conroe ISD Associate Superintendent.

Conroe ISD is losing at least an estimated $35 million in state funding. Yet unlike so many other surrounding school districts, Conroe's teaching staff will stay largely intact. Losing less than 200 teachers through natural attrition, i.e. teacher positions that will not be replaced.

"It's a huge relief. I don't have to polish my resume, I don't have to look for a job and I don't have to worry about my future," said DeLong.

College Park is in The Woodlands, one of Conroe ISD's fastest growing areas in the district. They've built four schools in the past three years. That growth means the schools have to be staffed. There will be budget cuts, but that's OK with student Shannon King who wants to keep the teachers she has.

"You get to know them, you build relationships with them and I care about all my teachers and I don't want them to be having to look for a job and stressing, so I'm so happy," said King.

Conroe ISD isn't completely immune to cutbacks, as bus routes will be consolidated and cuts will be made in travel and supplies. But Dr. Hiens told us he prefers that to handing out pink slips.

Parents we want to know what you think. We've posted a survey here for you to let us know how you would prefer these schools make adjustments to help balance their budgets.

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