TEA Begins Second Round of Layoffs

According to Harvey Kronberg’s Quorum Report, 178 more employees will be leaving the Texas Education Agency this week.

“Those cuts will be added to an earlier round of layoffs in February,” QR reports. “When the dust settles on Friday, TEA will be at 717 employees, down from a high of 1,060 employees in January, spokeswoman Debbie Ratcliffe said. Since 91 people were laid off in February, a total of 269 jobs within the agency have been eliminated, and an additional 74 employees departed due to retirements or transfers.

“Combined, a total of 343 positions will be cut from the state education agency. All told, TEA staff has been reduced by about a third, with much of the agency’s now-limited discretionary spending specifically directed by lawmakers to various outside programs.

“District, not agency, funding was the priority of budget writers during the regular session. As for the agency, the budget put a cap of 795 full-time employees at TEA. Ratcliffe said the agency could not staff that many positions, given funding constraints. Back in 2003, TEA was cut by about 200 positions. The final tally on agency staff, at that point, was 660. All terminated employees, Ratcliffe said, were given 45 days administrative leave pay to make a transition to a new job.”