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SAISD making cuts to teaching staff due to decrease in enrollment

SAISD says it will incur $31 million revenue loss due to drop in enrollment

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SAN ANTONIO – Approximately 60 teachers for the San Antonio Independent School District will be notified this week that they will not be rehired next year, a spokeswoman for the district confirmed.

According to district spokeswoman Leslie Price, some teachers were called to the district office on Tuesday to discuss their employment. The teachers were given the option to resign at the end of the year or be put on a list of teachers who will not be recommended for rehire, Price said. 

Price said the educators will be employed by the district through the end of the year. The district estimates it will recommend approximately 60 teachers for termination.

According to Price, the district is down 2,000 students and is expected to lose 800 students next year. The decline in enrollment has created a $31 million revenue loss.

Educators were informed in April that there was a possibility a "reduction in force," otherwise known as a RIF, could occur.

Price said the district is working to minimize the number of teachers affected by the "reduction in force," and will be notifying teachers throughout the week.

San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel president Shelley Potter said that the decision "came completely out of the blue" for some educators.

"(There's a lot of) disbelief, a lot of tears, people saying, 'I dont know what I'm going to do. I'm a single mom,' or 'I don't know what I'm going to do, I have a mortgage to pay.' I think (there is) some anger as well because of choices the district has made and not made," Potter said.

While SAISD officials said terminations were performance-based recommendations, Potter said there are some educators who have several years with the district.

"These are people who have eight years, 12 years, 18 years with the district," Potter said.

The school district is also taking into account how many teachers will resign or retire, which could lead to some open positions. The school board still has to approve the reduction in force, which will be discussed at a board meeting on Monday night.

On Friday, the Texas State Teacher's Association filed a lawsuit against the district on behalf of the San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel to block the takeover of a low performing elementary school.

SAISD released the following statement regarding the RIF:

SAISD is currently working through its budget process to address the $31 million revenue loss it is facing for next school year, as a result of student enrollment declining by about 2,000 students this year, and a further decline projected for next year.
 
There is a need to align staff levels with the projected student enrollment and make other cost reductions in the District.  Along with looking at Central Office and campus administration, the District also needs to adjust the number of teaching positions on campuses.
 
The goal has been for attrition to provide for minimal impact on staff.
 
Currently, we are in the process of notifying any probationary teachers whose contracts will not be renewed – something that is regularly done at the end of a school year.
 
Additionally, we have begun meeting with some teachers who have been recommended for termination due to a Reduction in Force or a Necessary Reduction in Personnel – and we expect approximately 60.  This process is based on employee performance, as governed by policy and law. We will be working through the week to review attrition and assess the need to meet with teachers to provide them with notice of the situation.
 
This is a difficult and complex process we hoped to avoid through attrition – and we continue to monitor that daily. We will have more details to provide at next Monday’s Board meeting, when recommendations are taken to Trustees for a Reduction in Force or a Necessary Reduction in Personnel.

On Wednesday, Price said the drop in enrollment going into this year was surprising.

"We've seen some enrollment drop off over years. But what's really surprising is going into this year, that we saw we were down 2,000 students, a significant decrease," Price said. "We expect more going into next year."

Price said the district attributes the decrease to the expansion of charter schools in the area.

"The charter schools have been growing and expanding for many years, but what's new is the jump we are seeing," Price said. "An additional more than 3,000 students that are currently enrolled in the charter schools that live in our boundaries."