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Katy ISD latest to slash workforce

Tuesday, April 05, 2011

We've learned 550 Katy ISD employees will be losing their jobs -- and this is just the beginning of the layoffs.

Katy ISD is facing $50 million budget shortfall due to spending cuts in the state budget. That means 550 contract employees -- most of them teachers -- will soon be told they will be out of a job at the end of the school year.

Morton Ranch students and parents have plenty to cheer about at this regional soccer quarter final playoff game, but trouble is on the horizon.

The district is facing a $50 million budget shortfall and officials are now warning the community that 500 teachers and 50 administrative staff workers are not going to be hired back next year.

"I wish they could decide on something else beside teachers; our main goal is educating with these kids and letting go teachers just makes it harder, more kids to classroom," parent Genoro Ponse said.

While parents wonder about programs and class size, Myra Reyes is concerned about her job.

Reyes is a non-contract employee who works in a cafeteria. Non-contract employees may also lose their jobs.

"The cafeteria workers, the custodian, yeah, I think about it," said Reyes, who works at a Katy ISD cafeteria.

School administrators say they must give contract employees 45 days notice if they will not be rehired next year.

At Katy ISD, that day falls on April 18.

"Unfortunately, the state has put us in a position that to make up a $50 million shortfall, 80 percent of our budget, over 80 percent of our budget is in salaries and personnel," Katy ISD Spokesman Steve Stanford said.

Teachers should start finding out next week who will stay and who will be let go.

The school district has a survey online to help guide the budget cuts.

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