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TEA Announces 178 Additional Layoffs

Photo by KUT News
The Texas Education Agency is laying off more staff to keep up with state budget cuts, reducing some of the agency support available to teachers and school districts.

The Texas Education Agency announced another 178 employees will be laid off this week. This is in addition to the 91 employees that were laid off in February of this year.

In addition to the 269 terminated employees, 58 employees retired or resigned and 16 were transferred.

The layoffs mean TEA will see a 32% reduction in staff due to a $48 million--or 36%--budget cut from the state.

“I think, sadly, there was no alternative,” said Debbie Ratcliffe, the agency's communications director. “We had already cut our travel budgets drastically, our printing budgets, any kind of expense that could be cut has been cut. Like school districts the bulk of our budget’s made up of personnel costs and we really had no place else left to cut.”

The employees being let go will receive 45 days of administrative leave to keep them on the payroll through the end of the fiscal year on August 31.

“It looks clear that virtually every department will be touched before we’re done”, Ratcliffe said.

TEA pre-kindergarten programs and some competitive grant programs will be hit harder, because the Texas legislature eliminated the programs.

Kelsey Sheridan is a news intern at KUT. She currently studies religion and journalism at Northwestern University.
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