HISD laying off 200-250 teacher positions as part of effort to cut $115M from budget, Houston Federation of Teachers says

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Saturday, April 28, 2018
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HISD laying off 200-250 in effort to reduce deficit, Miya Shay has more.

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- A spokesperson for Houston ISD confirms layoffs are beginning for teachers for the 2018-19 school year, as the district tries to make cuts for a $115 million budget shortfall.

According to the Houston Federation of Teachers, between 200 and 250 teacher positions will be affected by the layoffs.

Teachers began receiving notifications today. While officials won't confirm an exact number of employees affected, the jobs impacted are district-wide. The reduction in force will impact teachers, campus-based employees, and staff at the central office.

The expected budget shortcoming is due to a number of factors, including the impact of Hurricane Harvey on funding.

Those employees affected are encouraged to search for other positions in the school district.

The text of the email sent to staff is as follows:

Dear Team HISD,

Our district has been through an extremely challenging year, and as you know, we face an estimated $115 million budget deficit for the 2018-2019 school year - a result of recapture and the potential decline of local property tax valuations after Hurricane Harvey.
In light of this deficit, the district will experience a reduction in force that will impact teachers, campus-based employees, and staff at the central office. Having a reduction in force is very difficult, particularly when you consider all we've experienced this year. I understand these are stressful and challenging times for everyone, and we are committed to providing assistance to ensure employees continue to be successful beyond HISD. Human Resources will be hosting several career support workshops pertinent to impacted employees, focusing on benefits and leave balances, career marketing, resume writing, and interview best practices. More information on those workshops can be found here. Additionally, I urge anyone affected by the reduction in force to apply to other open positions in the district.
If you have any questions or concerns, please reach out to your immediate supervisor.
Dr. Grenita Lathan HISD Interim Superintendent

The school district is currently in a search for a new superintendent amid the budget issues. In March, former HISD Superintendent Richard Carranza abruptly left the district to take a new position in New York as the chancellor of schools.

HISD released the following statement:

The Houston Independent School District faces a $115 million budget shortfall for the 2018-19 school year. The Board of Education authorized a Reduction in Force (RIF) during its regular March meeting, excluding teachers in critical shortage areas. District staff being proposed for RIF began receiving notifications over the past several weeks. Many of these employees will find other positions within the district based on anticipated attrition. Not all impacted positions have been identified at this point. Our Human Resources Department will host several career support workshops available to all affected employees starting May 1. During these workshops, topics including benefits and leave balances, career marketing, resume writing, and interview tips will be addressed. We are committed to working with our employees as they transition into new roles.

RELATED: Houston ISD Superintendent Richard Carranza to head NYC school system