The Fort Worth ISD school board unanimously backed Superintendent Angélica Ramsey’s first attempt to cut district costs — and more are likely coming.
During a long meeting March 28, the school board voted unanimously to approve Superintendent Angélica Ramsey’s plan to restructure administration to help the district reduce its budget deficit amid a decline in enrollment.
How much the move will save the district is unknown because some employees may stay with the district in new positions, Ramsey has previously said.
The salaries for the positions in the departments listed on Tuesday’s 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.
“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,” Ramsey said in a written statement early Wednesday morning. “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 departments affected are Academics, Equity and Excellence, Innovation and Transformation, School Leadership and Student Support Services. Within those departments, positions affected include administrative positions of chiefs, assistant superintendents, executive directors, directors, assistant directors and coordinators.
Employees had until March 28 to resign, resign and reapply for another position, or resign and retire. Employees who are qualified to teach are encouraged to reapply for a classroom position.
The school board had to approve a policy change for the district to enact these program changes because it could result in non-renewals for employee contracts. Employees in the affected programs who did not decide to resign and choose any of the options available to them were presented to the board for termination.
None of the affected employees declined to choose among the three options, which would have resulted in termination. Ramsey first told employees of their options at a meeting on March 10.
Fort Worth ISD is trying to cut costs to offset an $80 million deficit and declining enrollment. In Texas, state funding depends on the average daily attendance of a district. As bodies in classrooms decline, so do thousands of dollars per student.
The district has lost an average of 2,436 students a year since 2017, according to a Fort Worth Report analysis.
Ramsey has said she expects enrollment decline to flatten around 55,000 students.
“The program change will create an alignment of accountability, communication and expectations for student performance and support,” she said. “Positions created as a result of the program change will be posted on the district’s talent management page.”
Kristen Barton is an education reporter for the Fort Worth Report. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. At the Fort Worth Report, news decisions are made independently of our board members and financial supporters. Read more about our editorial independence policy here.