Sunday, March 27, 2011

Plano ISD Preparing For $35-$65 Billion In Cuts

Gov. Rick Perry has laid the blame for the impending dismissals at the feet of local administrators and school boards.

"The lieutenant governor, the speaker, their colleagues aren't going to hire or fire one teacher, as best I can tell," Perry said at a news conference about state sovereignty on Wednesday March 9,2011. "That is a local decision that will be made at the local districts."

Perry urged districts to first cut non-teaching and administrative positions, which he said districts have added in dramatic amounts over the past decade. "Are the administrators and the school boards going to make a decision to reduce those, or are they going to make a decision to reduce the number of teachers in the classroom?" he said. "I certainly know where I would point."

Plano School Superintendent Doug Otto
on Scott Braddock's KRLD radio program
Plano ISD Superintendent Doug Otto replied to Gov. Perry's comments telling KRLD radio host Scott Braddock that the governor was "disingenuous" for saying that school districts have as many administrators as teachers. "That's idiocy" he said. Classroom costs make up the majority of the operating budget. Administrators, including the deputy superintendent, have already faced one round of layoffs this year.

The Plano school district faces $35 million in spending cuts according to a Senate committee's latest budget proposal or $65 million in cuts based on a budget bill passed by the House Appropriations Committee last week. Either amount is a large percentage to cut from the district's current budget of about $470 million.

Preparing for those imminent spending cuts Plano school administrators last Tuesday approved a second round of layoff recommendations that will cut teachers and some of Plano's prized education programs. The recommendations includes few specifics, but does list all elementary schools and most secondary schools facing teaching cuts.

Support and clerical staff also appear on the list, ranging from library services in senior high schools to special education, nurses and counselors in elementary schools. Programs downsized include early childhood, multilingual services and gifted and talented programs. Administrators say no aspect of the school district remains immune.

Principals are now tasked with figuring out who and what will be cut. Principals will make staff decisions based on certification, performance, professional background and seniority.

Document: [Plano ISD] Employment Area(s) to be Affected by Reduction in Force (RIF) 032211 affectedemploymentareas

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