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HISD Starts Sending Layoff Notices

It’s an expected measure since HISD is trying to bridge a $115 million budget gap for the 2018-19 school year.

Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sent this notice to employees this week.
Interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan sent this notice to employees this week.

Employees in the Houston Independent School District are starting to get layoff letters, as the state’s largest school district grapples with a major budget deficit.

It’s an expected measure since the HISD board approved what’s called a “reduction in force” earlier this year to help bridge a $115 million budget gap for the 2018-19 school year.

Here is a statement from the district:

“The Houston Independent School District faces a $115 million budget shortfall for the 2018-19 school year. The Board of Education authorized a Reduction in Force (RIF) during its regular March meeting, excluding teachers in critical shortage areas. District staff being proposed for RIF began receiving notifications over the past several weeks. Many of these employees will find other positions within the district based on anticipated attrition. Not all impacted positions have been identified at this point. Our Human Resources Department will host several career support workshops available to all affected employees starting May 1. During these workshops, topics including benefits and leave balances, career marketing, resume writing, and interview tips will be addressed. We are committed to working with our employees as they transition into new roles.”

HISD couldn’t confirm how many notices have been sent so far, but Tracy Clemons, HISD spokesman, said that the notices affect campus and departments across the district.

To help impacted employees, HISD’s interim Superintendent Grenita Lathan announced Friday a series of workshops to help employees with their careers, whether that’s to try and transfer to other HISD departments or find new jobs.

“I understand these are stressful and challenging times for everyone, and we are committed to providing assistance to ensure employees continue to be successful beyond HISD,” Lathan wrote in a note to employees.

Steve Antley, with the Congress of Houston Teachers, said that he is aware that a few notices have started to go out.

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Laura Isensee

Laura Isensee

Education Reporter

Laura Isensee covers education for Houston Public Media, including K-12 and higher education. Previously, she was a staff reporter at The Miami Herald and contributed to South Florida’s NPR affiliate. Her work has also appeared in The Dallas Morning News, Reuters and Clarín in Argentina. Laura has won awards for...

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