HISD Cuts Jobs, Increases Lunch Prices

By Daniella Guzman

HOUSTON - The Houston Independent School District Board passed several measures Thursday that will affect many teachers and parents, KPRC Local 2 reported.

The board voted to reorganize some district positions and lay off 414 employees to help balance the district's budget.

Several teachers said they do not understand why they were chosen to be let go.

"I was told I did a great job and my student's grades were great, and then I get let go. I don't understand," said Sara Zamora, Tijerina Elementary School teacher.

Superintendent Dr. Terry Grier defended his plan, which he said could be a painful change.

"Every person on this list will get a chance to interview before we interview outside prospects. They will get the first choice of interviews," promised Grier.

The layoffs are set for the next academic school year.

Also on the agenda was the price of school lunches. The board passed a proposal to add 15 cents to elementary school lunches and 25 cents to middle and high school students.

"Any of these savings we make, we're talking about $5 million, are not to fund Terry Grier's projects. Its to help balance the district's budget," Grier said.

The board also voted to terminate the former principal of Key Middle School, Mabel Caleb, and five other employees. This comes after the district's investigation into Key Middle School looked into accusations of financial fraud, theft, nepotism and cheating.

KPRC Local 2 contacted Caleb's attorney, but did not get a call back.

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