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To avoid layoffs, Marble Falls school officials assign teachers to substitute pool

MARBLE FALLS — In a move to avoid the layoffs plaguing other school districts, Marble Falls Independent School District officials have created a permanent substitute pool made up of full-time teachers.

Concerns about overstaffing led to the initiative so that some teachers whose positions were at risk could stay employed, even if they aren’t assigned to a permanent classroom, school officials said June 2.

The move could preserve six to nine teaching slots, officials said.

"Because of procedures in the past we were overstaffed — significantly overstaffed in just about every area, which is one of the reasons we instituted the reduction by attrition plan last summer," said Interim Superintendent Jim Boyle.

Under that procedure, the district reduced staff as educators retired or resigned. The idea, Boyle said, was to cut teacher numbers without laying off anyone.

Even now, lawmakers in Austin are still wrestling with a school budget crisis that likely will see huge reductions in education funding. These cuts, educators warn, are already having an adverse impact on Texas schools.