Crosby ISD to eliminate 129 positions in budgetary layoffs

CROSBY, Texas (KTRK) -- Crosby ISD's budget-driven layoffs will amount to 129 lesser positions within the school district going forward.

Of the 129 positions being eliminated, 95 will be a result of a reduction in force, Crosby ISD announced Wednesday. The district added 72 at-will workers, who include bus drivers, custodians and clerical staff, were informed that their last day on the job is on Nov. 2.

Earlier in the week, the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees voted to terminate the contracts of 33 employees, 19 of whom are teachers. Other positions affected include the director of transportation, special education behavior specialist, elementary science coordinator and district social studies coordinator. Their last day on the job is Dec. 20.

The 129 positions also include those who took voluntary resignations or retirements.

The layoffs will cut $5.2 million in payroll expenses and get the district through the school year, said superintendent Scott Davis, who has been on the job only 16 weeks. The financial problems are being blamed on the previous administration's mismanagement, overspending on construction projects and surplus staff. Former superintendent Keith Moore and former Chief Financial Officer Carla Merka both left earlier this year.

Despite Davis' reassurance there will be minimal impact to classrooms, parents are concerned about the trickle-down effect for the district's 6,000 students.

Meantime, the board is still awaiting the results of the 2017-2018 audit, which will give them a better idea of where the district's money went.

Following Wednesday's layoff announcement, Davis offered this statement:

We knew these days were coming, and yet, no amount of emotional preparation could have fully prepared us for the most difficult and necessary step of informing our beloved employees that they would no longer be working for Crosby ISD. Today we have concluded these conversations and our hearts are heavy, our minds too overwhelmed by the emotional complexity of this to fully process what has transpired over the last two weeks. There have been few moments of respite from this sobering and humbling reality that we face as an organization and as a family. We've pressed forward one day at a time, one decision at a time. I think this is all we can ask of ourselves and those around us - keep pressing forward. That being said, this part of the reduction in force process is over. Any new vacancies from this point forward will be posted and any of our employees whose positions were dissolved may apply.

I think the sadness is evident today across the district. I can tell you with resounding conviction that the sacrifices made by so many will not be in vain. It is up to all of us to be certain that this district survives and thrives again. Tomorrow we will return to work and together we will keep pressing forward. We will tackle the day's challenges one day at a time. We will make decisions to rebuild our district one decision at a time. We will continue to press forward. It will take time to adjust to living a new normal and I can't promise that it will be a perfect process, but I can promise that the resolve to recover will carry us through the challenging times ahead. I've been a part of the Crosby Cougar Family for only 16 weeks and I know that I lead an outstanding group of people in our schools. The community has wrapped its arms around us and taken care of so many needs the way families do for one another. I am proud to be here. I wouldn't wish these circumstances on anyone, but we have grown in unforeseen ways and we've all witnessed that unspoken resilience that is the ultimate trademark of this community. Crosby ISD will survive.

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