SAISD Could Lay Off as Many as 60 Teachers

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Scott Ball / Rivard Report

SAISD officials will provide more details on the number of teachers affected at the next board meeting, scheduled for May 14

Ahead of layoffs that could affect about 60 teachers, San Antonio Independent School District officials on Tuesday announced they started meeting with teachers who had been recommended for termination.

SAISD trustees knew the district's financial outlook for the next year would be grim when Superintendent Pedro Martinez in late March announced the district faced a $31 million revenue shortfall, mainly due to an enrollment loss of roughly 2,000 students.

In mid-April, trustees approved the first step toward potential teacher layoffs.

SAISD also plans to reduce additional positions at the campus and central office administration level, but has not yet made final decisions.

SAISD spokeswoman Leslie Price said the district will provide more details on the number of teachers affected at the next board meeting, scheduled for May 14. At that meeting, trustees will divulge the number of teachers included in the "reduction in force."

In a Tuesday press release, Price said teachers will be selected for layoffs based on employee performance, as is governed by district policy and state law.

"This is a difficult and complex process we hoped to avoid through attrition – and we continue to monitor that daily," Price wrote.

Price told the Rivard Report that at this point, attrition has not created enough openings to negate the need for layoffs. However, if attrition continues throughout the summer and creates more openings, those who have been terminated will be welcome to apply for the vacancies, she said.

At the April 16 board meeting, when trustees approved the first step toward layoffs, district officials said the number of layoffs would depend on how many teachers submitted resignations between then and the end of the school year.

On April 6, SAISD reported it had 73 vacancies, left by teachers who have chosen to leave by the end of the school year. Teachers typically notify the district of their intent to leave SAISD in May and June.

Martinez said this year's attrition would likely be impacted by many surrounding districts facing similar enrollment and budget woes, meaning they, too, would not be posting many open job positions.

SAISD Chief Financial Officer Larry Garza reported the district is losing enrollment at 65 of its 90 campuses, with the majority of enrollment loss at the elementary level. Only 15 SAISD schools project increased enrollment for next year, and the remaining 10 campuses show an increase of less than 20 students in 2018-19.

Martinez told the district that losing enrollment across so many campuses makes it hard to reshuffle staff and guarantee each currently employed teacher a position in the coming school year.

San Antonio Alliance of Teachers and Support Personnel President Shelley Potter said many of the teachers notified this week had no idea they would be included in the layoffs.

"So they're in complete shock," she wrote in a text to the Rivard Report. "Oh, and happy Teacher Appreciation Week."

Price said the trustee vote to approve specific numbers for the reduction in force, to be taken May 14, must be taken 10 days before the last day of instruction, which is set for May 18. That is one of the reasons the district had to notify teachers of their employment status this week. In addition, Price said, the district wanted to give teachers ample time to figure out employment and personal arrangements for the coming year.

9 thoughts on “SAISD Could Lay Off as Many as 60 Teachers

  1. Out of curiosity… which 15 campuses had an increase, and which 10 were essentially “flat” in enrollment?

  2. The boutique campuses are seeing increases.

    Our school will hopefully stay flat because we are over capacity.

  3. Sad part is that vacancies will be filled with Long Term substitutes. This issue will be ongoing for various local school districts

  4. Wow, if true that many of the notified teachers had no idea they risked losing their jobs, that is sad and another poor management decision by Mr. Martinez. The tide will turn and next time a teacher shortage exists, few will look to teach in SAISD. It is a district that is dying.

  5. Last year, TWENTY-EIGHT teachers QUIT from Jefferson. THIRTY teachers left Irving MS. A whole mob of teachers left Brackenridge last year. No one in their right mind wants to teach in the SAISD. Why bother with lay-offs???

  6. With a LARGE majority of reurbanization occurring in SAISD how is it that enrollment is still continuously dropping? I would imagine that the trend must be shifting as I personally do quite a bit of hime sales all around SAISD these are working class folks who have kids and do not send to charter or private schools… The numbers don’t make sense also considering that year over year the property taxes have increased dramatically.

  7. Looks like the teachers should be going door to door asking why parents are sending their children to charter schools in large numbers instead of screaming over losing their jobs. Any teacher with common sense saw this coming years ago. Sorry but things have changed career jobs are no longer guaranteed as worker at Kelly AFB found out. The law of supply and demand in action.

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