A clearer picture of how Fort Worth ISD will look under Superintendent Angélica Ramsey is emerging.
Administration is expected to be leaner, cheaper and sharper. Trustees on March 28 are scheduled to consider formally backing Ramsey’s most public reshuffling of the district.
The proposed resolution directly names divisions and positions that could be eliminated or consolidated. The move is intended to deal with Fort Worth ISD’s declining enrollment and increasingly fraught financial situation.
If you go:
What: Fort Worth ISD school board meeting
When: 5:30 p.m. March 28
Where: Fort Worth ISD Teaching and Learning Center, 1050 Bridgewood Dr.
Watch: Fort Worth ISD’s YouTube channel; channel 192 on Spectrum/Charter; and channel 99 on AT&T U-Verse
Employees in several divisions could be part of the restructuring, including Academics, Equity and Excellence, Innovation and Transformation, School Leadership and Student Support Services.
The positions listed include:
- Division chiefs, such as the chief academic officer
- Assistant superintendents
- Executive directors
- Assistant directors
Before spring break, Ramsey informed about 150 to 200 employees — including top administrators — that their jobs were on the line and they would have to resign, resign and reapply or resign and retire. That meeting mostly involved employees in central administration and the Teaching and Learning Center.
Student achievement is why the superintendent picked these areas, Ramsey told the Report on March 24. Better academic performance is Ramsey’s top priority, she said.
“The program change is part of the ongoing efforts to address the decrease in student enrollment, reduce costs, and reallocate resources from the central administration to impact student learning more positively,” the proposed resolution states.
Employees in these positions can reapply for positions. However, some jobs will be eliminated, others will be merged and others will get other jobs in the district. Administration is encouraging those with teaching certifications to re-enter the classroom.
How much this move will save the district is unknown because some employees may stay with the district in new positions, Ramsey said March 24.
The salaries for all the positions in the departments listed on the school board agenda totaled to $4.7 million, according to an analysis of Fort Worth ISD salaries that the Fort Worth Report obtained through an open records request.
Fort Worth ISD’s leadership team has three vacancies, according to the district’s organizational chart. They are chief of equity and excellence, senior communications officer and chief of capital improvement program.
Since 2017, the district has lost an average of 2,436 students per year. The superintendent doesn’t expect that to stop until enrollment flattens around 55,000 students.
Fort Worth ISD has around 72,783 students, according to the March 28 school board meeting agenda.
Officials anticipate enrollment to be 70,604 in the 2023-24 school year. Chief Financial Officer Carmen Arrieta-Candelaria told the school board finance committee the projected enrollment drop for 2023-24 will mean a drop of $12 million in state funding, according to the minutes.
Trustees and administrators are bracing for an even tighter budget for next school year. Preliminary numbers presented to the school board’s finance committee show a $36.4 million loss in revenue, according to district records. That’s on top of a $23.8 million decrease in state revenue this year.
Editor’s note: This story is developing and will be updated with more information throughout the day.
Jacob Sanchez is an enterprise journalist for the Fort Worth Report. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter.
Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at email@example.com.
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