Members of all WFISD departments are searching for ways to cut money. At a special session of the Board of Trustees Tuesday, board members got a look at the worst-case scenario of looming massive cuts from the state.
WFISD Superintendent Dr. George Kazanas and district CFO Tim Turner gave a presentation to the board at Tuesday's meeting. According to Turner's numbers, a budget deficit of $27 billion for the state would mean up to $9 million in cuts for the district. "Personally, in 20 years as an educator," said Dr. Kazanas, "this has been the toughest year regarding the budget."
Dr, Kazanas said he started asking all faculty and staff members for ideas on budget cuts back in January. A committee of around 25 people from all departments will meet Thursday to finalize those ideas. They will be presented to the Board of Trustees on March 21.
As of now, said Dr. Kazanas, all options are on the table. But, he said, cutting jobs, especially for teachers, is at the bottom of the list. "We are looking at as far out of the classroom as we can," he said.
The WFISD's financial advisor, Murphy Davis Sr., presented board members with one option for cutting costs Tuesday. If they choose to refinance some maintenance notes, the district could free up more than $600,000 a year for the next two years. That, however, would make up less than seven percent of a $9 million dollar gap. The Board will take action on that item at the March 21 meeting.
Dr. Kazanas said the board and administrators will have to wait for a final figure out of Austin before making final decisions on the coming budget.