The Denton school board unanimously voted early this morning to finalize the layoff of 80 employees as a cost-cutting measure for the 2011-12 school year.
The board originally voted to notify 102 employees they would be laid off in order to cut the budget, but district officials only distributed 88 notices because they determined losing the other positions would put too much strain on schedules and student-teacher ratios, Superintendent Ray Braswell said.
Wednesday's vote saved eight more positions. All were probationary employees.
"Tonight we were able to rescind the termination letters of five elementary, one middle school one special education aide and one computer tech so our total numbers went from 88 to 80," he said the vote taken shortly before 1 a.m.
Of the 80 employees terminated were 65 professional employees -- one special education teacher, 28 elementary employees, 10 middle school staff, 24 high schoolemployees and two support staff employees. Nine special education aides and six computer technicians had their jobs terminated at a previous meeting, Braswell said.
As a result of Wednesday's early morning vote, Braswell said 20 high school and two middle school positions that were originally slated for cuts were spared.
"The ratios that we established were just going to be really difficult to get," he said. " It just wasn't going to work with the master high school schedule and the middle school schedule based on looking at actual enrollment requirement from students. We couldn't achieve that number. We're not going to force an issue like that."
The district, Braswell said, will continue to have retirements and resignations through summer and the district will look to rehire some employees handed terminations as it can.
Board member Glenna Harris said trustees are hopeful that the district can rehire employees terminated who meet the necessary certifications for positions which may become vacant.
"As much as possible, we want to honor our commitment to those people that committed to us ... and keep them in the fold as much as we can."
The amount of growth for the 2011-12 year is also unknown and could also impact the district's employee count,Braswell said.
There's still a lot to be determined regarding the state budget and how it impacts funding for state school districts, he said.
"This is a marathon and not a sprint. We will continue to work through this and focus on mitigating our job loss," Braswell said. "We're not done. We finished the process we were required to finish but we will continue to work on this. Our number of job losses are coming down."
BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876. Her e-mail is firstname.lastname@example.org.