HISD Board of Education to consider reduction in force

‘Critical shortage’ positions eliminated from list of positions eligible for RIF

The Houston Independent School District Board of Education on Thursday will consider a reduction in force for certain term- and continuing-contract employees.

The board’s regular monthly meeting begins at 5 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, 2018 in the Manuel Rodríguez Jr. Board Auditorium of the Hattie Mae White Educational Support Center, 4400 W. 18th St. Click here to view the full agenda.

Trustees are expected to consider the two annual reduction in force (RIF) agenda items related to being able to execute a reduction in force of teachers and other campus-based employees, as well as certain central office employees who hold term and continuing contracts. These agenda items were originally scheduled for consideration at the Board’s February meeting, however trustees voted to delay a vote until March.

In the upcoming school year, staffing at the campus level and within central office departments will be impacted by budget and staffing changes aimed at increasing equity across the district. Changes in funding models will impact individual campuses differently. Some campuses will lose staff, necessitating a reduction in force, while other campuses will gain staff.

The need for a reduction in staff in the upcoming school year is also due to the anticipated reduction in revenues because of the potential decline in property values as a result of Hurricane Harvey. A decline in property value will decrease district revenue from property taxes.

“Knowing this RIF decision could will impact the lives of our employees and students, we wanted to be responsible and to make sure we were minimizing the impact to classrooms,” HISD Board of Education President Rhonda Skillern-Jones said. “We reviewed the RIF proposal and came back with something trustees could live with: employees currently in critical shortage areas will not be subject to a RIF. That includes, but is not limited to, secondary math, science, and English, bilingual education, and some special education critical shortage areas.”

Those employees may be reassigned within the district.

Also on Thursday, Trustees will hear a presentation detailing the results of a review of the district’s special education program. HISD contracted with the American Institutes for Research, or AIR, to conduct an independent third-party review.

The review was conducted over a 10-month period between May 2017 and February 2018. The report describes AIR’s assessment of HISD’s strengths and areas in need of improvement with respect to the special education program, and identifies recommendations for the district to consider for continued improvement services for students with disabilities.

The board will also discuss options for ending the district’s contract with Superintendent Richard Carranza, who announced his departure from the district Monday. Trustees will also discuss the following options for finding his replacement: appoint a short-term interim and do an immediate search for a permanent replacement, appoint a long-term interim and postpone the search for a permanent replacement, or post the position and hire immediately.

The board meeting will be broadcast live online at www.hisdtv.org and on the HISD Channel, which can be found on Comcast Channel 18 or U-verse Channel 99.