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Beaumont teachers ask state education commissioner to block layo - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Beaumont teachers ask state education commissioner to block layoffs

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The Beaumont Teachers Association Tuesday asked the state education commissioner to block a proposed reduction in force that could cost the jobs of more than 200 teachers and other employees in the Beaumont Independent School District.

In a petition filed with Commissioner Michael Williams, the Texas State Teachers Association, acting on behalf of its Beaumont affiliate, said the Beaumont ISD school board violated state law in declaring a financial exigency, or emergency, to carry out the RIF.

“There is no legitimate basis for declaring a financial exigency,” said Greg Sholl, president of the Beaumont Teachers Association.

“Beaumont ISD’s financial problems are the result of mismanagement, but the district leadership is trying to make educators and students pay for the district’s mistakes, and that is not right.”

The teachers’ petition said the Beaumont school board, in declaring the financial exigency, violated the Texas Education Code by:

• Failing to demonstrate that Beaumont ISD has experienced a decrease of more than 20 percent in unassigned general fund balance per student in weighted average daily attendance over the past two years.

• Failing to meet any of the state education commissioner’s “minimum standards concerning school district financial conditions that must exist for declaration of a financial exigency” as set out in the Texas Administrative Code.

“The proposed layoffs would hurt more than BISD employees,” Sholl said. “Eliminating these jobs would force students into more crowded classrooms and harm our local economy.”
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