HOUSTON – During the latest round of community meetings held on Thursday, Houston Independent School District Superintendent Mike Miles provided more details on the number of positions that would be eliminated from the district’s central office.
According to a slide shared during the presentation, 1,675 vacant positions were cut, as well as, 672 filled jobs as part of the reorganization process. In total, 2,347 positions will be cut from the central office.
“The 672 people are in the process of looking for other jobs and many of them will receive positions in the district,” Miles said.
The number of central office jobs has decreased from 10,204 in June when Miles became superintendent to 7,857 in July.
The department which saw the largest decrease in positions was the chief academic office. The number of positions in the chief academic office dropped from 2,478 to 1,052. Miles had previously said the district would be eliminating between 500-600 positions in that area.
Miles said there would also be more departments impacted in the district than just the chief academic office.
“There will also be a reorganization of communications, school leadership, professional development... those are the main ones, the ones that I said at the very beginning that we didn’t reorganize yet, our finance and the chief operations office, those we didn’t want to disturb right now because we are actually in the middle of transporting kids in summer school and nutrition services, and they are larger organizations and it takes more time to make sure we do it in a way that is sound and will maximize efficiencies,” Miles said.
On Friday morning, Mayor Sylvester Turner took to social media to speak out on HISD’s latest cuts announced during Thursday evening’s virtual meeting.
The tweets read:
The wholesale changes of HISD and the steep salaries being given is not a sustainable model. In the short run Supt. Miles cuts are deeply concerning and is being done to offset other costs and may jeopardize long-term operations. The absence of checks and balances is glaring.
When a Superintendent and Board of Managers of the largest school district in Texas is selected by one person you get unilateral decision-making. Where there is no additional funding from state, you get dramatic cuts to your public school system. Not a sustainable model.
The state legislators from Houston cannot disconnect from what’s happening at HISD. In the absence of a democratic elected board they must be the watchdogs and hold the TEA Commissioner accountable. We must. We all must. These are our children.
The superintendent is cutting 2300 positions from HISD. Take this as a red flag. Next- program cuts, charter schools and school consolidations. Why? Because the state doesn’t want to fund fully public education.