HISD may need to rehire teachers

HOUSTON HISD has never before laid off so many teachers, yet there is word the state's largest school district may rehire more than 300 teachers.

More than 700 teachers have been laid off so far. Add to that an additional 600-plus teachers who opted for early retirement or resignation. However, at Thursday's budget workshop, the board heard the cuts may have been too deep.

New numbers from administration show 326 teaching positions may need to be filled. Those positions are to be in core subjects, such as math and science. Teachers who were laid off will be given first consideration for those jobs.

But there is skepticism among the teachers' union that new teachers, not those laid off, would also be in consideration to fill some of those vacancies.

Gayle Fallon with the Houston Federation of Teachers asked, "Why would you hire a single new person from anywhere when you have an existing employee whose position has closed who could be put in that job?"

HISD's job fair is scheduled for the end of the month and will be only for teachers who were laid off.

In other action, HISD voted to cut back on summer school. Classes in June will be held from Monday through Thursday. In an effort to save money, there will be no summer school classes on Fridays. Extra time would added to the school day to make up for Friday. The move is expected to save the district approximately $1 million in bus transportation and utility costs.

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