Fort Bend ISD begins cutting jobs

HOUSTON Out of a total of 9,500 full-time positions in FBISD, it was determined that 470 positions must be eliminated as part of the overall budget reduction plan, according to a statement from the school district. Of the 470, the district has identified 195 certified teaching positions along with 80 certified non-teaching professional positions, and 195 non-certified positions for reduction (which includes all other positions).

One hundred of the identified teaching positions relate to special education. Although the district's special education population has declined by more than 900 students in the last 10 years, the number of teachers in the program has increased by 176, according to district officials. The reduction in special education staffing is necessary to more appropriately align staff with the district's current student population.

Of the 195 teaching positions identified, many were reassigned to fill positions available at the new campuses and at other campuses where there are vacancies, allowing the district to limit the number of employees whose positions are being eliminated. Officials say the district's goal is to be able to offer the opportunity to as many teachers as possible to return to work in the district.

The reduction in force process began last week with letters being sent from the Human Resources Department to 85 certified regular education teachers and campus/district administrators, notifying them that their positions were being eliminated.

The criteria used to determine positions to be eliminated included: 1) certification; 2) performance; 3) professional development; and 4) seniority. Additional reduction letters are being sent this week to 89 certified special education teachers/administrators. However, over the next several weeks, as vacancies become available through attrition, teachers who are qualified will be called and offered those positions.

After the April 12 Board meeting, the district will begin the process of identifying the remaining positions. The 2010-2011 school year budget must be approved by June 30, 2010. The district provides budget information on the district website and allows the opportunity for people to submit questions/comments.

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