Local ISD to Cut Jobs Over $80M Deficit

Lockers in hall | Image by Lissandra Melo/Shutterstock

The Fort Worth Independent School District (FWISD) is moving forward with job cuts after its board of trustees voted on Tuesday to approve Superintendent Angélica Ramsey’s plan to restructure some administrative departments.

Declining enrollment has been a widespread issue for public school districts across Texas, as previously reported in The Dallas Express, and FWISD is no different.

The district lost roughly 18% of its enrollment over the last six years, according to the Fort Worth Report.

This poses a serious fiscal dilemma to FWISD leaders since state funding of public school systems is tied to the individual student being educated, and fewer students means fewer taxpayer dollars.

FWISD is currently facing an $80 million budget deficit.

Ramsey’s plan involves laying off some administrative positions and consolidating certain parts of district operations, with the Academics, Equity and Excellence, Innovation and Transformation, School Leadership, and Student Support Services departments being affected.

“This program change supports the ongoing effort to address a decrease in student enrollment and the need to reallocate resources from central administration to impact student learning more positively,” said Ramsey in a written statement, per KERA.

School finance expert Marguerite Roza told the Fort Worth Report that the targeted cuts were likely necessary, acknowledging the large deficit.

“You can’t cut that by rejiggering transportation and saving on electricity or trying to switch over to digital communications instead of paper and postponing buying textbooks,” Roza said.

Some of the administrative positions on the chopping block are assistant superintendents, directors, executive directors, assistant directors, division chiefs, and coordinators.

Still, an analysis of salary data conducted by the Fort Worth Report found that Ramsey’s current plan may only save the district upwards of $4.7 million, a drop in the bucket.

The Dallas Express reached out to Superintendent Ramsey and the district’s communication team, informing them of the news outlet’s estimate and asking whether the district had any additional plans to shore up FWISD’s finances and if teacher layoffs were on the table.

The district provided The Dallas Express with the following statement:

“The program change will be the first phase in the District’s transition to a District Service Center to better support students, families, and employees. … The program change will create an alignment of accountability, communication, and expectations for student performance and support.”

Declining enrollment at FWISD and the Dallas Independent School District (DISD) may partly be due to parents relocating to better-performing school districts or choosing charter alternatives; despite the hard work of their dedicated educators, the two biggest districts in North Texas have unmistakably poor student outcomes.

At DISD, only 41% of students scored at grade level on the STAAR exam, and almost 20% of the district’s graduating Class of 2022 did not graduate on time, according to the latest Texas Education Agency accountability report. For its part, FWISD saw just 32% of its students score at grade level on the STAAR, though its on-time graduation rate was 85.7% last school year.

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  1. gypsy

    Just like the elected officials t they have forgotten who they work for. The teachers and unions care not. If you go woke you go broke.

  2. Bill

    With few exceptions there is not a single school district in the entire country that couldn’t cut 20% of its workforce without anyone even noticing. Most school districts have more administrators that do absolutely nothing other than shuffle papers than they do teachers. The same thing can be said for every single government agency in the country at both a state and federal level.

  3. William McBreen

    This is what happens when you teach crap

    • Anna W.

      We don’t have smaller class size’s in larger school districts. The Charter schools are being overrun with children who are coming from the larger districts.

      These children are behind and now impacting the Charter School. Parents want attend PTA’S, Parent Teacher Conference’s. We have some lazy parents. Those who are home every day
      Volunteer in your child’s classroom and I bet the behavior will change. Schools are not teaching crap, they have a lot of CRAP thrown at them.


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