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Hundreds of FWISD Teachers Take Buyout

Slightly more than half of what district hoped for accept offer

By Julie Tam
|  Wednesday, Mar 23, 2011  |  Updated 9:59 PM CDT
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More than 400 <a title=Fort Worth school employees have so far accepted buyouts from the district." />

Julie Tam, NBCDFW.com

More than 400 Fort Worth school employees have so far accepted buyouts from the district.

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More than 400 Fort Worth school employees have accepted buyouts from the district, but far fewer teachers than the district hoped for took the offer.

The Fort Worth Independent School District offered the resignation incentives in an effort to cut costs. The district faces up to $80 million in anticipated state funding losses over the next two years in addition to its own multimillion-dollar budget shortfall.

Wednesday was the last day for teachers and degreed professionals to take the $5,000 bonus, which was offered to the first 600 teachers and first 100 employees who are required to have certain degrees for agreeing to leave the district.

Forth Worth ISD officials said 331 teachers took the buyout, far short of the 600 teachers the district hoped would accept the offer. The district said 63 degreed employees agreed to take the offer.

Retiring teachers also get terminal pay, which is an extra lump sum based on their salary and years of service.

Tialisa Gervais is leaving her job as a speech pathologist for students at Mary Louise Phillips Elementary School.

She'll take the $5,000 bonus to use for a down payment on a house and relocate to Houston to find a new job.

"I'll miss everything -- the kids, yes, my co-workers. They're great co-workers," she said. "I'll miss Fort Worth a lot. We love Fort Worth."

The deadline for a $500 buyout bonus for non-degreed employees passed earlier this month. The district said 59 employees took that offer.

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