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Crosby ISD moves forward with layoffs after declaring financial exigency

October 9, 2018

In a room full of concerned employees, parents and community members, the Crosby ISD Board of Trustees declared financial exigency and announced that the district has already begun notifying staff of potential layoffs.

Superintendent Scott Davis read a resolution stating the school district “faces a significant shortage of financial resources,” during a special meeting on Monday, Oct. 8. Trustees voted unanimously Monday evening to approve the resolution.

Crosby ISD became the 16th Texas school district to declare an official financial emergency since 2012, a move that will allow officials to institute mid-year layoffs in an effort to keep the district financially solvent.

A Crosby ISD statement noted that district officials have met with 18 employees in the last week to notify them of their impending termination.

The media release also states eliminating an entire employment area was possible since some consisted of only one or two employees. These employees can stay in the district until Dec. 20 to minimize mid-semester disruptions.

Teachers considered for termination will be notified prior to the Oct. 15 regular board meeting but can also stay in the district until Dec. 20. Davis will also bring proposal recommendations of either termination of probationary teachers or non-renewal of term contracts for teachers.

At-will employees will be reduced based on the least disruptive impact to district operations. These employees will be given a final employment date of Nov. 2.

When considering what employment areas to layoff, Davis also considered areas that can easily be absorbed into another department.

“The areas that were listed are areas that can be completely consumed and employees in that area will be affected equally and some of those employment areas it’s only one person and some of those areas it’s two,” Davis said. “In none of those areas was it more than two people.”

The resolution states the following employment areas could be affected:

Federal Program Specialist

PEIMS Specialist

Director of Certifications

Director of Transportation

Art Facilitators

District Social Studies Coordinators

Science Coordinators, elementary and secondary

Special Education Instructional Coordinator

Teacher/ At-Risk Specialists

Systems Analyst

District Testing and Accountability Coordinator

Librarians

AVID Program Coordinator

Special Education Behavior Specialist

Teachers all grade levels

The school district will need to cut about $5.5 million through layoffs because because it is facing a massive budget deficit.

During the 2017-18 school year, Crosby ISD spent $47.9 million on payroll, 88 percent of the general budget. Most districts spend about 80 percent of their budget on payroll, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Before the start of the meeting, Crosby ISD Board President Carla Mills Windfont told the audience said she stands by the board.

“I stand before you as president today to say, ‘did we do everything right? No,’ but (this is) a teachable moment and we work together in this,” Windfont said.

Windfont added that she and other employees have heard concerns from students and staff. She ended her speech by quoting the Crosby ISD Fight Song, “Onward to victory, never give in. Fight to the finish, that’s how we win.”

Jo Ann Crawford, former Crosby ISD board member said in the 23 years she has served on the board she has never seen the budget this bad.

“Literally there wasn’t a question I didn’t ask that literally the board members were making fun of me for asking too many questions,” Crawford said. “When I left (the board) we had an unbelievable fund balance, everything was good.”

kaila.contreras@chron.com

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