AUSTIN (KXAN) — Shrinking enrollment and less demand for new employees has led Austin ISD to put a hiring freeze in place.
The freeze is only expected to last a few weeks, and only applies to outside applicants.
Because the district is facing a challenge, they have to find spots for 162 current employees. Their positions are going away next year due to a program being cut, or because of lower predicted enrollment. This number is higher than normal.
Typically, the district is able to easily place employees in open spots. But student enrollment is predicted to drop by 400 students next year, so the number of openings has decreased.
“Number one is our family of employees who are part of AISD,” said Ken Zarifis, president of Education Austin, the union that represents several teachers in the district. “We need to respect those employees first.”
Turnover in the district doesn’t appear to be as high either. On a typical year, about 600 teachers leave. The district says only about half as many have said they won’t be around next year.