12,354 & Counting: Thousands Fewer Public School Jobs in Texas

Posted on 05/04/2011. Filed under: School Funding, texas politics, texas progressive alliance | Tags: , , , |

Texas Progressive Alliance Releases Preliminary Tally of School District Job Cuts, Resignations in Just 60 School Districts

AUSTIN—More than 12,000 Texas public school teachers, librarians, administrators, and support staff have left their school job in the roughly three months since the Texas Legislature released proposed budget figures for the 2012-2013 biennium, according to data released Tuesday by the Texas Progressive Alliance.
“There is no bunk in these numbers,” said Vince Leibowitz, chair of the Alliance, a group of progressive online activists including more than 50 netroots activists, bloggers, and online writers from across Texas. “These numbers are the cold, hard, truth and show precisely how significant an impact the proposed budget is already having on school districts across the state,” Leibowitz said.
More alarming, he noted, is that the more than 12,000 layoffs, firings, and voluntary or forced retirements represent only a fraction of the devastating toll the proposed budget is taking on public education. “These reductions come from a grand total of 60 of the state’s 1,234 school districts, less than five percent of all school districts statewide,” he noted. “Imagine how high this number will be when data is collected for all of these school districts,” he continued.
The Alliance collected the data from publicly available sources including newspapers, television stations, and other media outlets that cover Texas school boards. The data was compiled by members of the Alliance and includes districts from all parts of the state.
The data was released on the heels of an announcement by the Texas Legislative Budget Board that the proposed budget being considered by the Legislature will be the first since at least 1984 that does not adequately fund public school formula funding and makes no allowance for enrollment growth.
“Yesterday, Senator Ogden was quoted as saying that Texas school districts could ‘live with,’ five percent cuts,” said Charles Kuffner, Vice Chair of the Alliance. “Evidently, Senator Ogden and Republicans in the Legislature, Governor Perry, and our state leadership think losing 12,000 public school employees, increasing class sizes, and reducing the quality of instruction are worth living with. We do not,” Kuffner stated.
The Alliance will continue to track school district layoffs through the start of the 2011-2012 school year and today will ask readers of their blog to help them track this critically important number in ISDs across the state.

Founded in 2006, the Texas Progressive Alliance includes more than 50 member online and netroots activists from across Texas. Dedicated to promoting progressive ideals and shaping a better Texas, the Alliance annually names a “Texan of the Year,” publishes a weekly round-up of the best stories from Texas’ progressive blogosphere, and periodically weighs in on matters of public policy in Texas. In 2008, the Alliance was instrumental in bringing the Netroots Nation convention to Texas which featured as guests former Vice President Al Gore, General Wesley Clark, and then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

12,354 Fewer Jobs – The Numbers

Note – As best as possible, the Texas Progressive Alliance attempted to avoid counting projected job loss figures. The numbers below should reflect jobs that have already been cut and positions that have promised not to be fulfilled. In some cases, news reports reported several totals of jobs reduced or positions not filled; in those cases, the Texas Progressive Alliance used the lowest and most certain of the figures.

School District  Job Reductions  Source 
Abilene 14 Abilene Reporter-News, 4/4/11 
Arlington 538 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 4/7/11 
Atlanta 14 KTAL 6
Austin  1,153  Austin American-Statesman, 4/6/11 
Bay City  43  The Tribune, 4/25/11 
Brownsville 275 The Monitor, 4/7/11
Canutillo 13  KVIA, 4/12/11
Cedar Hill 97  Dallas Morning News, 4/5/11
Clear Creek  17  The Bay Area Citizen, 3/11/11
Comal 92  New Braunfels Herald Zeitung, 4/5/11 
Dallas 1,450  Dallas Morning News, 4/9/11 & Dallas Morning News, 4/9/11 
Denton  274  Denton Chronicle, 3/23/11 Denton Chronicle, 4/27/11 
Eanes  98  Community Impact, 4/8/11 
East Central  7 San Antonio Express-News, 3/25/11 
Eastland 2 KTXS, 4/5/11 
Ector 104 Odessa American, 4/11/11 
El Paso 116  KVIA, 3/30/11 
Floydada 5 KCBD, 4/6/11
Fort Bend 483  Click2Houston, 4/5/11
Fort Worth 553  KDFW, 4/12/11 
Georgetown 142  KEYE, 3/3/11 
Gorman  KTXS, 4/5/11
Hays  156 Hays Free Press, 3/23/11 
Hitchcock  15  Galveston Daily News, 3/30/11 
Houston 1,007  Houston Chronicle, 4/12/11 
Hutto 74  Hutto ISD, 5/4/11 
Irving  278  Dallas Morning News, 4/5/11
Katy 550 KTRK, 4/5/11
Keller 440 Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 5/3/11 
Killeen  200 KXXV, 4/8/11 
LaJoya  22 The Monitor, 4/8/11
Lake Travis  28 Community Impact, 4/8/11
LaMarque 50  Galveston Daily News, 4/7/11 
Lamesa 11 KCBD, 4/6/11
Leander  213  Austiin American-Statesman, 3/22/11 
Lewisville  422  Dallas Business Journal, 4/25/11 & Who is Playin, 4/14/11 
Lubbock  70  Lubbock Avalanche Journal, 3/27/11 
Magnolia  179  KHOU, 3/23/11
Marshall  18  KTBS, 4/19/11 
New Braunfels  127  KSAT, 4/7/11
North East 69  WOAI, 4/12/11
Northside 973  San Antonio Express-News, 4/27/11
Pasadena  340  Houston Chronicle, 4/6/11
Pharr-San Juan-Alamo  The Monitor, 4/8/11 
Plainview 10  KCBD, 4/6/11
Plano  344  Dallas Morning News, 3/29/11 
Post KCBD, 4/6/11
Round Rock 280  Fox 7 Austin, 3/25/11
San Angelo  35  San Angelo Standard-Times, 3/26/11
Santa Maria  26  KRGV, 4/13/11
Shallowater  KCBD, 4/6/11
Slaton KCBD, 4/6/11
Socorro 100 El Paso Times, 4/10/11
Somerset  73  San Antonio Express-News, 4/12/11 
Spring Branch  350  Springbranch ISD, 4/6/11
Tornillo 13 El Paso Times, 4/10/11
Waco  200 KXXV, 4/8/11
West Oso  20 KIII, 3/10/11
 Wichita Falls 134  Wichita Falls Record-News, 4/2/11
Wyline (Abilene)  KTXS, 4/5/11 
TOTAL  12,353   

UPDATE #1: Diboll ISD, 5 more. New total – 12,358. Source – KTRE, 4/27/11

UPDATE #2: Refugio ISD, 14 more. New total – 12,372. Source – Refugio Country Press, 4/25/11

This information should make any Texans furious!!!! This is from mismanagement of the state by the ruling party-The Republicans. To give a cut in property taxes and say that sales tax would make up the difference was insane. The Comptrollers Office told them it would not work before they passed it during the last Legislative session but they ignored the Comptroller who is a member of their own party. The Republican Party would rather give tax cuts and allowances to the rich in Texas and ignore the facts about Texas Education. We have one of the highest drop out rates in the Nation. We spend less on our students.

If this trend continues in Texas, Texas Universities will have to stop accepting Texans as students because they will be so far behind any other students unless they attended a private school.  A Good Public Education should be a Mandate from the State not just a worthless phrase passed around to make them sound good. Cut the loop holes in state taxes, stop not collecting taxes from major corporations in Texas, stop giving tax deals to the wealthy, quit siphoning funds from our schools to pay for other projects in Texas and FUND OUR SCHOOLS!!!!!

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