SAISD Board Approves Teacher Cuts

Despite emotional pleas from teachers who are being laid off or are afraid they will be, the San Antonio ISD Board of Education last night rubber stamped Superintendent Pedro Martinez’ controversial plan to lay off 132 teachers, double the number the district had previously said were in line for termination, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

Martinez says its a matter of simple economics.

"Actual to actual, we are down about 1800 students last year to this year, and as we look at trends, we forecast another decline of about 800 students next year," he said.

The SAISD is facing economic pressure on multiple fronts. The loss of enrollment means a significant loss of state aid to education funding.  

The district's tax base is not growing as rapidly as the most prosperous districts on the city's north side, and the people who are moving in to the new apartments in the Pearl and Southtown areas generally don't have children.  

Also, the Legislature last year cut state education funding, and wealthier districts have the ability to make that up from higher local property tax collections, something that is less likely in the SAISD.

Martinez says the SAISD actually is overstaffed by 255 teachers, including 223 paid for by the district's general fund.He says an attempt to make all of those cuts through attrition was not possible because resignations and retirements were lower than expected.

"We didn't get the levels of attrition that we had hoped," Martinez said.

Martinez says the personnel reductions will only make up about $18 million of the district's projected $31 million shortfall for the upcoming year.

The teacher cuts amount to 3.9% of the SAISD's total teacher population.  He says 18 assistant principals and 13 central office staffers will also be cut.

He says the teachers who were slated to be fired were given the opportunity to resign, and many of them took advantage of that.

"Even after this, we will still be overstaffed," Martinez said. "We just didn't want to cut the numbers any more."

Sponsored Content

Sponsored Content