UPDATE: Fort Worth school trustees voted Tuesday night to impose a hiring freeze for noncritical positions, and said layoffs may be inevitable.
THE ORIGINAL REPORT APPEARS BELOW:
FORT WORTH -- School trustees are expected to vote tonight to impose a hiring freeze on noncritical positions for the rest of the 2010-11 school year.
At last week's budget workshop, Superintendent Melody Johnson said the district was essentially doing so already by requiring senior administrators to approve new hires. Trustees indicated a desire for the practice to be set in policy.
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Texas school districts are bracing for significant funding cuts as the state wrestles with what could be a $27 billion shortfall in the next biennial budget being prepared by the Legislature.
Fort Worth officials have said that the district could lose $50 million to $80 million in funding for the next budget cycle. The district was already facing a nearly $30 million shortfall this year.
Administrators outlined nearly $19 million in proposed cuts last week. Another budget update is slated on tonight's agenda.
In other business, trustees are expected to:
■ Vote on whether to ask the state for permission to forgo making up two school days missed because of bad weather this month. The district missed four instructional days and five work days because of weather. It has two instructional makeup days built into the schedule. In addition to a request for a waiver for the other two instructional days, the district will ask for a waiver for employee contract days. Some school staff -- such as teachers -- must work at least 187 days by law. But spokeswoman Barbara Griffith said there will be an opportunity for employees to make up time missed if they choose to do so.
■ Vote on school boundary changes to accommodate the opening of John T. White Elementary and Jean McClung Middle schools in east Fort Worth.