HISD Cuts 277 Administrative Jobs

The Houston Independent School District will cut nearly three hundred central office jobs as board members continue to shave away at the budget. The job cuts will save the district an additional 18-million dollars. As Laurie Johnson reports — the cuts aren't over yet.

The 277 Central Office positions are the latest fallout from the state's proposed cuts to education funds.

HISD Board Trustee Greg Myers says in addition to the administrative positions, the board also authorized $22 million worth of district-wide program cuts.

"We want to insulate our schools from these cuts as much as we can. We know we cannot totally insulate them. And frankly, with the staggering number that's in front of us as far as the deficit, we could literally get rid of the Central Office building and still — still not have enough to cover or avoid going into classroom cuts."

Myers says this is the first time in the six years he's been on the board that they've had to cut school budgets.  The final numbers aren't in yet, but the district estimates as many as 1,800 teachers could lose their jobs. The deadline for schools to notify teachers if their contracts won't be renewed is at the end of next week.

"A lot of challenges are still ahead, we're still faced with a task before the end of June when we have to vote on the final budget, of zeroing out our budget — of balancing it. And we still have $65 million that we have to prioritize and we have to make sure to get into and to balance."

In order to cut another $65 million from the budget, the board is considering a property tax increase, closing several
small elementary schools and a five percent reduction in the district's homestead exemption.

Bio photo of Laurie Johnson

Laurie Johnson

Local Host, All Things Considered

Laurie Johnson is the Houston host for All Things Considered at KUHF NPR for Houston. Before taking the anchor chair, she worked as a general assignments reporter at KUHF, starting there as an intern in 2002...