Ed. note: This is a running count. Check the end of the diary for updates on the total. Latest is 12,372.
“There is no bunk in these numbers.”
Today, the Texas Progressive Alliance — a large group of Democratic and progressive bloggers in Texas — released a preliminary tally of school district job cuts and resignations in just 60 school districts in Texas. TPA emphasized that this is a working document, and there are likely many, many more jobs that have been eliminated since January than those represented below.
If you know of other ISD layoffs, job cuts, etc. that are not represented at the list at the bottom of the post, please leave a comment and let us know!
The following is from the TPA release:
AUSTIN—More than 12,000 Texas public school teachers, librarians, administrators, and support staff have left their school job in the roughly three months since the Texas Legislature released proposed budget figures for the 2012-2013 biennium, according to data released Tuesday by the Texas Progressive Alliance.
“There is no bunk in these numbers,” said Vince Leibowitz, chair of the Alliance, a group of progressive online activists including more than 50 netroots activists, bloggers, and online writers from across Texas. “These numbers are the cold, hard, truth and show precisely how significant an impact the proposed budget is already having on school districts across the state,” Leibowitz said.
More alarming, he noted, is that the more than 12,000 layoffs, firings, and voluntary or forced retirements represent only a fraction of the devastating toll the proposed budget is taking on public education. “These reductions come from a grand total of 60 of the state's 1,234 school districts, less than five percent of all school districts statewide,” he noted. “Imagine how high this number will be when data is collected for all of these school districts,” he continued.
The Alliance collected the data from publicly available sources including newspapers, television stations, and other media outlets that cover Texas school boards. The data was compiled by members of the Alliance and includes districts from all parts of the state.
The data was released on the heels of an announcement by the Texas Legislative Budget Board that the proposed budget being considered by the Legislature will be the first since at least 1984 that does not adequately fund public school formula funding and makes no allowance for enrollment growth.
“Yesterday, Senator Ogden was quoted as saying that Texas school districts could 'live with,' five percent cuts,” said Charles Kuffner, Vice Chair of the Alliance. “Evidently, Senator Ogden and Republicans in the Legislature, Governor Perry, and our state leadership think losing 12,000 public school employees, increasing class sizes, and reducing the quality of instruction are worth living with. We do not,” Kuffner stated.
The Alliance will continue to track school district layoffs through the start of the 2011-2012 school year and today will ask readers of their blog to help them track this critically important number in ISDs across the state.
The TPA noted that, “as best as possible, the Texas Progressive Alliance attempted to avoid counting projected job loss figures. The numbers below should reflect jobs that have already been cut and positions that have promised not to be fulfilled. In some cases, news reports reported several totals of jobs reduced or positions not filled; in those cases, the Texas Progressive Alliance used the lowest and most certain of the figures.”
Here are the numbers and ISDs facing cuts, with sources:
UPDATE #1: Diboll ISD, 5 more. New total – 12,358. Source – KTRE, 4/27/11
UPDATE #2: Refugio ISD, 14 more. New total – 12,372. Source – Refugio Country Press, 4/25/11