Pearland ISD hoping to avoid teacher layoffs
PEARLAND, TX The budget cuts are of serious concern to parents, students, and teachers at Pearland ISD. But so far the district has figured out how to get by without laying off any teachers. Helping students figure out eighth grade algebra is a welcome challenge for teacher August Aimone, especially since he no longer has the pressure of figuring out the financial equations of his own future. "We just spent a lot of money on home improvement and now I don't have to figure out how I'm going to pay my bills," said Aimone. He is one of over 1,100 teachers in Pearland ISD who will keep their jobs next year. Pearland ISD is expecting an estimated $12 million shortfall next year in state funding. A lower general fund budget of $129 million means teachers who retired or voluntarily left the district will not be replaced. The money saved, says the district, resulted in the district notifying their teachers on Friday, that unlike other districts, there will be no layoffs. "There was a collective sigh all over the school district -- you could hear it. We all thought this was real good," said Aimone. District officials say to expect larger class sizes, but only by one or two students more per class. "The larger the class, it's just like a crowded stadium; it's harder to control them. So it's nice to be able to retain the smaller class sizes," said parent Claire Carter. Just last week, the district launched a search for a new superintendent. Pearland's previous superintendent resigned to accept a job in the Waco school district.