Board of Trustees approves employment for all contractual employees

The Harlingen Consolidated Independent School District will be notifying contractual employees on Monday, April 11, that they will be employed for the 2011-2012 school year.

With school districts across Texas bracing for a revenue shortfall as the state’s legislatures deliberate on the upcoming budget, HCISD will offer its teachers, nurses, counselors and other professional staff a one-year term contract. Contractual employees currently scheduled to receive a probationary contract will also be employed next school year under a one-year term probationary contract.

“This is a tremendous victory for our children,” Superintendent Dr. Steve Flores said. “The HCISD Board, along with our administration, has placed us in a position where we can continue providing a quality education for all HCISD’s students, while also preserving our district family’s employment.”

The district’s 951 employees, who currently are employed on two-year term contracts, will continue to hold a one-year term contract for the 2011-2012 school year. However, two-year term contracts will not be available for those positions after the 2011-2012 school year. HCISD’s overall employment is about 2,866 positions.

HCISD will join the overwhelming majority of public school districts in the Rio Grande Valley and Texas by offering one-year term contracts to teachers, Flores said.

“I understand that this is a significant change to how this district has operated,” Flores said. “Our leadership deemed that it is necessary to fall in line with the roughly 97 percent of the state’s districts currently offering teachers one-year contracts. I am confident this district will continue to provide a quality education for all our students, while valuing the work of our teachers and staff.”

Contractual employees in these job classifications usually receive their contracts in March. However, the Board and administration took the extra time to plan for the pending revenue shortfall.

Lawmakers currently project a revenue shortfall for public education between $4 and $9 billion, which would equate a cut in funding for HCISD between 5 and 10 percent. In preparing for the shortfall, HCISD’s Board and administration have been developing strategies focused on job preservation and limiting impact to classroom instruction; however, no action has been taken yet.

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