By Elsa Maxey
On Monday, the Fort Bend ISD board voted to rescind a total of 15 non-renewal contracts and terminations of probationary contacts. The 15 terminated were then allowed to officially resign. FBISD spokesperson Mary Ann Simpson said the employees’ departure would then go on record as voluntary rather than non-renewal or termination.
Eleven of those were non-renewal recommendations that were rescinded and four terminations of probationary contracts, according to Human Resources Director Rhonda McWilliams.
“The reason for this is that these people had sent in resignations prior to the April 4 board meeting, so we went back to the board with these employees’ names so they could rescind the first action of non-renewal/termination and officially resign,” she said. So who does this really benefit is a question one may ask? After all, the terminations would be a matter of the district’s emergency exigency.
Also, the 15 employees are not qualified for the voluntary resignation incentive benefits unlike the 258 that, according to McWilliams had been received by FBISD “at the end of the day April 11, 2011.” In other accounts, that number has been estimated to be over 350 of those that have opted for the voluntary incentive package. That benefits package for the voluntary resignations is a payment of 10 percent of the employee’s base pay, however, it precludes the employee from undergoing a termination hearing before the board.
Reportedly teachers who take advantage of the incentive can re-apply to the district, but if they are hired back for the upcoming 2011-2012 school year, they have to pay back the entire amount of money received. If they come back to work during the 2012-2013 school year, the teachers apparently only have to pay back half the amount.
As for other budget cuts that may be forthcoming, those are reportedly due in the next couple of weeks with about 20 campus level positions in the clerical area being eliminated, and nine non-instructional positions will reportedly be gone in central administration.
The school district is expecting the state legislature to have a finalized budget by July. FBISD’s employment cuts, numbering 483 from the first round, are about addressing the district’s budget reduction for the next school year in response to the state shortfall for financing public education.