BISD's superintendent delays termination notices

Timothy B. Chargois

In a letter to all Beaumont Independent School District staff, Superintendent Timothy Chargois said the district now anticipates that all employees affected by the coming reduction in force will be notified no later than June 30, rather than the June 12 date given previously. Also, Chargois outlined the process by which the district will decide who loses their job and who does not, a process he described as "unbiased, not considering personalities, but focusing on the positions." The full text of the letter, sent via email to all BISD staff Monday, June 2, appears below:

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To: All Staff

Subject: The RIF process and update

Dear BISD Employee,

Normally, the last week of school is filled with the joy of recognition programs, awards and other honors as students and teachers get excited about the summer break. Unfortunately, this school year is also ending with serious issues that may have employees wondering how the recently approved Reduction in Force will impact our lives.

We are working toward the goal of bringing staffing across the district within approved guidelines.  For the most part, that means 22 students per teacher up to grade level four and 28 students per teacher from grades five and higher.  Of course, this may mean teachers will have larger class sizes. However, this will also mean we will be operating within state guidelines. The RIF will impact all areas, including administrative staff, maintenance, clerical, transportation, child nutrition and other support staff. Additionally, any unfunded grant programs will also end, and consequently, those job positions supporting those particular grants will also be eliminated.  Unfortunately, the RIF will also impact teaching positions.

In my May 23rd letter to employees, I outlined why the RIF is necessary. I want to make sure each employee understands how the process is being executed. Foremost is a plan for the RIF process to be unbiased, not considering personalities, but focusing on the positions.  For example, let’s say a school has four 5th grade English teachers and 84 students. The approved staffing guidelines require one teacher for every 28 students.  Since 5th grade English at this school has one teacher more than the staffing guidelines require, then 5th grade English at this campus would become an “affected employment area.” To help determine which one of the four teachers will be impacted by the RIF, a template applying the RIF criteria identified in Policy DFFA (Local) and in the procedure for reduction in force.  In order of importance, the RIF criteria are (1) qualifications, such as certification, (2) employee performance, (3) extra duties, (4) professional background, and (5) seniority. Therefore, if these 5th grade teachers are equal in every category of one through four, then the employee with the least years of service would be the one impacted by the RIF.

Contrary to our initial estimate that employees affected by the RIF may expect to be notified by June 12, we now anticipate that all employees affected by the RIF will be notified no later than June 30. Certainly, we do not want to rush the process, but we want everyone to be aware of the checks and balances in place to assure fairness in the process.  Please click here<http://www.bmtisd.com/financial-exigency-information/> for more information concerning the RIF process.

Sincerely,

Timothy B. Chargois, Ed.D.

Superintendent of Schools

Beaumont Independent School District

3395 Harrison - Beaumont, TX 77706

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