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EPISD denounces claims teachers will lose jobs

By Pilar Arias, pilar.arias@kvia.com
Published On: Apr 13 2014 11:22:05 PM CDT
Updated On: Apr 15 2014 08:23:26 PM CDT

El Paso's largest school district is making changes in response to budget cuts and decreased enrollment.

EL PASO, Texas -

El Paso's largest school district is making changes in response to budget cuts and decreased enrollment.

A math teacher at Brown Middle School said she was told eight teachers at her school are being let go from their jobs.

However, El Paso Independent School District Spokeswoman Reneé de Santos told ABC-7 the district is working on making sure that displaced teachers are placed somewhere, based on their certification, on their experience, on what their program has been and then based on their seniority.

"My job is not on the line. I am trying to help because these are my kids," seventh-grade math teacher Maria Gonzalez said.

Gonzalez is fighting to save her coworkers jobs. She said those eight teachers at her school were told they were considered surplus and wouldn't be needed next year.

"They are technically pending. If there's a position available that will open, they will be the first ones to be called back," Gonzalez explained.

She added she thinks it's the district's way of not using the term laid off. Gonzalez is organizing demonstrations and leading a group fighting for the teachers.

"We have this wonderful math teacher ... she gives her life, and she has a family. She's going to be without a job," Gonzalez said.

On April 10, EPISD had it's first of many community budget meetings to discuss how to live through the anticipated $12.5 million deficit next school year. A draft budget presentation showed 131 positions would be eliminated from the district.

"The way it works is that a campus principal in essence is in charge of balancing what their class loads are," Robert Almanzan, Associate Superintendent of Human Resources, said.

Gonzalez said she isn't just upset for the teachers, but also for the students.

The Board of Managers will have to approve next school year's budget by June. A demonstration protesting the cutbacks has been planned for Monday afternoon outside of Brown Middle School once the dismissal bell rings.

For information about the online group called EPISD Save Our Kids click here.

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