WFISD Prepares for Budget Cuts

The Wichita Falls Independent School District is facing a significant budget loss.  Newschannel 6 has answered several calls from concerned parents asking how the state's deficit will affect public education, and now we have answers.

Superintendent George Kazanas says all Texans have to realize with the budget deficit the state is dealing with, it will touch everyone including public schools.

Just how bad?  WFISD officials say they expect a loss of $4 to $6 million in state funding.  Currently the district operates on a $132 million budget, less than 5 percent of their finances will be slashed, still they're preparing for that impact.

"It makes the district look very closely at its expenditures, we are going to go through a process of gathering input from our staff," said Kazanas.

He says there are no particular programs or schools they are eyeing to ease the reduction.  The cuts would likely come from funds used to stock their supplies, equipment, travel, and staff development.

"Things of that nature are going to have to be examined again and determine what could we live with and still meet the needs of our kids," he said.

Layoffs would be a last resort but open positions from resignations or retirement will be analyzed.  Despite the loss of funds from the state, the district says the number one priority continues to be the education of the children.

WFISD officials say all the cuts are just estimates until they find out the actual amounts in late April to May.

All of this information hit home on Monday for the district.  That's when State Comptroller Susan Combs came out with information stating the state deficit could be around $27 billion much higher than the originally projected $15 billion which means cuts are inevitable.

Currently all Texas class sizes are limited to a 22 to 1 ratio.  The legislature is looking at increasing that number in hopes of saving millions.   If so, WFISD will look at making changes.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.