WFISD Continues To Make Cuts - KAUZ-TV: Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

WFISD Continues To Make Cuts

The Wichita Falls Independent School District continues to hammer out their budget.  The district is faced with making tough decisions when it comes to the elimination of employees.  Right now 147 positions have been eliminated, some through retirement, others through termination.

The staff losing their jobs are given the choice of choosing between resignation or termination because some may not want termination on their record.

It was grim news from Austin Sunday night.

"The house did go ahead and finalize their budget with $11.5 million shortage for WFISD," said Board President, Reginald Blow.

After weeks of debate, house members pulled out a budget that's $23 million less than the last two-year cycle.  That puts WFISD in their worst case scenario.  The district came up with more budget slashing options, including more personnel eliminations and pay cuts to employees not on a teacher salary.

"They suggested based on fairness that anybody who made over $50,000 was looked at for one percent cut, so perhaps those above that even higher," said Blow.

Several teachers who have been told about the elimination of their position have also been placed on a surplus list.  That means if large cuts don't happen and room opens up at the district they will be employed.

"As soon as positions become available that they're certified in then they go into those positions, we'll also work with them and help them too if they want to get additional certification," said Superintendent George Kazanas.

It's about keeping the cuts as far away from the classroom as possible, so administration, technology, maintenance, all those departments are seeing a loss.

"It's not that we're fighting against each other, we're one district and we're trying to do best for the entire district," said Blow.

Tuesday the board will meet again at 12 pm.  They will have a better grasp then about the proposed pay cuts to certain employees.  They will also be meeting again on Thursday.

The Texas House and Senate must settle on an agreed budget.  Once they make a compromise, then WFISD will know exactly how much money they will have to slash.

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