46 additional positions also show up
By Elsa Maxey
The Fort Bend Independent School District releases a clarification about its employee cuts, 396, and wants the public to know that a statement in a news article, not in the “Fort Bend Star”, is misleading about the staffing reduction numbers.
FBISD said the article states “Nearly 500 teachers, special education instructors, specialists and librarians in the Fort Bend Independent School District are without a job overnight.” It also said the statement would lead people to believe that 500 employees were recently laid off, “which is not true.”
As previously reported, FBISD identified 483 professional jobs for elimination and on Monday, the district’s Chief Human Resources Officer Rhonda McWilliams further clarified that the 483 number was lowered to 396 professional positions identified for elimination–303 teaching positions and 93 administrative and professional support positions.
That means that the total number of current teaching positions which is 4,153 will be reduced to 3,850 or by 7.3 percent, and the 1,189 administration and professional support positions will be reduced to 1,096 or by 7.8 percent for the upcoming school year, according to last week’s data from FBISD.
This week, the district’s current number of administration and professional support positions, however, shows a total of 1,235 or 46 more than the 1,189 previously reported, which would mean the reduction of these administrative and professional support positions is lower than the 7.8 percent being reported. McWilliams, who furnished the information requested by the “Star” said that numbers provided this week came from 2010-11 staffing per an October PEIMS report provided by the district’s Chief Financial Officer. When the categories are reviewed in relation to aggregate totals, the district reports that one campus administrative position was eliminated out of 198, six central administration positions were eliminated out of 29, and 86 professional support positions were cut out of a total of 1,008.
FBISD further reports that as of now, 365 employees have taken advantage of the district’s voluntary resignation incentive since it began March 8, notes that of the 396 positions identified for elimination, only 160 employees are involved in losing their jobs due to the RIF (Reduction in Force) and of that number, all but 53 have resigned; and almost all of the FBISD “riffed” employees are still employed until the end of their contracts in June. Understanding the staffing numbers can be challenging partly due to the eliminated positions taking into account employees in temporary and probationary status positions, which are not subject to being offered the voluntary resignation incentive option.
FBISD said that employees whose positions were eliminated by the RIF are encouraged to reapply for other district positions as they become available.