News

‘Early out’ offer on table at RISD

Resignation incentives for teachers, administrators proposed
By MIKE BROWN
Reporter Editor

This “early out” proposal doesn’t mean leaving school at noon before Thanksgiving or Christmas. It’s a lot more permanent.

Rockdale ISD trustees will go into session during a budget workshop at 5:30 p.m. Thursday to act on an early resignation incentive option for most school district employees.

The proposal is a reaction to expected cuts in state education funding which have sent districts throughout the state scrambling for ways to reduce spending.

In the Rockdale ISD, as in many school districts, salaries are around 80 percent of all expenditures.

‘ STR ATEGY’—“ This strategy is a result of the proposed budget shortfall and is for budget planning purposes only,” Dr. Howell Wright, Rockdale ISD superintendent, said.

“If this is approved (by board members on Thursday), the action will allow us to see who may be leaving the district, for whatever reason,” Dr Wright said.

State lawmakers have proposed cutting almost $5 billion from public education.

“The budget shortfall is real and, if the Senate or House budget remains intact in its current form, every school district, including Rockdale, will be required to look hard at all personnel positions,” Dr. Wright said.

He said the proposal includes teachers, nurses, counselors and administrators and would be offered“ regardless of their number of years in education.”

“It is a one-time offer for this year,” he said. “Employees will have a month to consider choosing this option.”

‘CHAPTER 21’—Dr. Wright said support personnel are not included in the offer. “Support personnel are not on a Chapter 21 contract and this proposal is structured as an offer only for persons on Chapter 21 contracts,” he said.

CAMPUS CLOSING—Teacher layoffs statewide, as a result of the budget shortfall, have been estimated in the 100,000 range.

At t he nea rby Hut to ISD, administrators are mulling closing an entire campus, the 526- student Veterans Hill Elementary School.

That’s expected to shave 77 jobs from the district’s payroll.

Veterans Hill students would be sent to Hutto ISD’s other two elementary campuses.

Hutto ISD has alrady turned to other, unconventional spources of revenue, including advertising on school buses.

While the legislature is just starting work on the two-year state budget, the final version won’t be approved, and sent to the governor for his signature, until summer.

But that’s too late for school districts who are already planning their 2011-2012 budgets and face state-mandated teacher-hiring mandates.”


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2011-02-10 digital edition



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