Katy ISD Reduces Number of Layoffs

The Katy Independent School District has reduced the number of teachers who will be laid off this year. But a district spokesman says there could be more cuts in the future as Katy ISD looks for ways to slice another 25-million dollars off the budget. Laurie Johnson reports.
Katy ISD officials had planned to terminate about 350 positions, but Spokesman Steve Stanford says as of last night that number is down to 314 because a number of teachers filed last minute resignations and retirements.

"Today was the 45-day deadline that we have to notify teachers that they won't be coming back next year. That's ingrained in state law. If that wasn't in place, then we'd have some more time to wait and see what the legislature was doing."

The district still needs to close a $24-27 million gap, which means more cuts are coming although it's unclear if that will include more staff and teacher layoffs. Stanford says the district is trying to minimize the impact these cuts have on students.

"We work really hard with our principals on the campus to see how can we make these reductions without having a large impact on that student learning experience. You know, people have been thinking that classrooms are going to double — that's not true. We're looking at elementary level of an average of an additional two students per class."

Last week, students at Katy ISD high schools staged walk-outs in protest of teacher layoffs. School districts across the state are making significant cuts in anticipation of less funding from the state legislature.
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...