Report Outlines $8.2 Million in District Cuts - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Report Outlines $8.2 Million in District Cuts

A projected $27 billion shortfall is causing concern for school districts across the state.  In order to prepare WFISD set up a Budget Action Committee to look over all areas and decide what needs to stay or go.  They presented that report to board at Tuesdays meeting and no decisions were made.  It was merely a presentation.  That committee spent 120 hours developing cost saving recommendations and some areas will be hit pretty hard. 

It's nothing but a proposal, still its an eye opener in to what kind of cuts WFISD will see in the coming years.

"We're going to do more with less, we're all a part of that, there will be a change in services that are provided to the campus and for each particular level.  Things will be a little different next year," said Superintendent George Kazanas.

A multi-page report outlined by 26 personnel provided solutions to the districts $8 to now possible $10 million dollar shortfall.

It's the most comprehensive report WFISD has seen yet.  The recommendations for some departments are staggering, like doing away with the pregnancy program, eliminating bus routes for choice students, and freezing salaries across the board.

"We try to go as far from the classroom and as back from the classroom as we could and so for direct service to the child we certainly are doing everything we can to minimize to those services lost," said Kazanas.

From the library to the football field, no one will be left out.  Recommendations for library services include:  reducing their budget by 20 percent, not renewing the Accelerated Reading Program and reducing staff by three people.  For athletics students may have to start paying for their letter jackets and to participate in any sports.

"We would need to look at any other districts that are charging a participation fee and see how we can reasonably structure one if we do one, if we even need to do one in the future."

The district may lose 40 to 50 full time personnel in all departments, not just teachers.  Perhaps the biggest cost effective idea came in the form of closing schools.

"What's best for WFISD.  What's the best way to serve our kids and the appropriate number of campuses to do that," said Kazanas.

There are plenty more cost saving measures the district is looking at and many like operations, and transportation will have little effect in the classroom.

"Minimize any reduction that have direct impact to the child.  we're working really hard in those areas."

Superintendent Kazanas says because of a loss of an $800,000 Pre-K grant, their shortfall may reach $10 million a year for the next two years.

Furloughs are also a topic of discussion but because the state does not allow those for contracted employees that would be very difficult to achieve.

Crystal Hall News Channel 6.

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