The education cuts are going to be brutal. It was announce this week that Leander ISD will cut 250 jobs, Leander district to terminate 213 first-year teachers.
Leander school officials announced Monday that they plan to terminate 213 first-year teachers as part of an effort to close a projected $29 million shortfall in the district’s $244 million 2011-12 budget.
The teachers gathered after school on their campuses and watched as Superintendent Bret Champion told them in a webcast that they were being laid off.
The district — the third-largest in Central Texas, with more than 32,000 students — did not offer incentives for employees to leave voluntarily. The district has 1,930 teachers and more than 4,000 employees.
The district actually eliminated 250 positions — 141 central office and other nonteaching positions and 109 classroom teacher jobs — to save $11.3 million.
The Statesman had this story on the closing of Veterans’ Hill Elementary School in Hutto, Hutto school closure hits small community hard.
A lot of teachers, students and even parents dream about the first day of school.
Veterans’ Hill Elementary School Principal Michele Bischoffberger has been having dreams about the last. “I already know what that’s going to look like,” she said. “Nobody else will be here. I’m going to be here by myself.”
Bischoffberger said the dreams are her subconscious’s way of dealing with the fact that Veterans’ Hill — her first principal assignment — will be closed June 2.
Hutto school district officials will be the first in the Austin area to shutter a campus amid the current budget crisis affecting Texas public education.
With current estimates of state cuts between $4 billion and $10 billion, officials in other districts, including Austin, may soon follow suit. District administrators are trying to close anticipated 2011-12 budget gaps by cutting jobs and increasing teacher workloads, among other things.
Parents say they are disappointed and sad.
Jake Bailey, father of a Veterans’ Hill kindergartner, said he wonders why the district didn’t save more for a rainy day.
Amanda Moreno said it has been hard not only to watch her daughter, who cried at hearing the school would close, but also the teachers, who acted like graduating seniors at a recent school dance. “It was sad, like you were seeing them say goodbye,” she said.
It’s interesting to hear a parent wonder why the Hutto ISD didn’t save more for a rainy day. The main reason is that it likely would have meant higher taxes. And how likely would anyone have been, in recent years, to allow their property taxes to be raised just to make sure that their school district had a Rainy Day Fund? Most politicians, in situations like that start calling for giving the money back to taxpayers. And currently we see many politicians are unwilling to spend that money when it actually is raining.
The real wonder should be why so many Texans sat by and did nothing as this crisis was knowingly created in 2006?