“We’re not planning on laying anybody off,” Albritton told The Mirror, but warned “Depending on what the legislature does, we may have to shift and do something differently.
“If we lose $3 million, they’ll probably lay me off,” he quipped. “So I mean, who knows?”
Like public schools across Texas, Gilmer ISD has been preparing for a potential reduction in state funding caused by the state’s multi-billion dollar budget shortfall. The exact amount of reduction to the district is not yet known.
“We have had, just like we would in any year, people that have not performed well that we have not extended a contract on. . . We have had some terminations in probationary contracts, and some people have resigned,” Albritton said. “As people leave through attrition, we’ll reduce our staff as much as we can (that way),” he added.
“I would say that every position that is open will be very carefully scrutinized” as to whether it is filled, the superintendent added.
Albritton also said the state may force the district into teacher furloughs (unpaid time off), which he dislikes. He said he believed it was deceptive to have a contract stating a teacher will work 187 days, but will only get paid for 180.
He said something like four bills concerning furloughs are pending in the Texas Legislature.
As for the five teachers who opted for early retirement/resignation, Albritton said, “We planned for 20. That tells me people like their jobs. People like working here and we don’t want to force anybody out.”
Four of the five are longtime instructors, including kindergarten teacher Ruby Nell Allen, who has taught 40-some years. The others who took advantage of the offer are Don Ledbetter, Kathy Langford, Remona Tate and Regina Tefteller, said Albritton.