The Wichita Falls Independent School District continues to meet the demands of their budget shortfall. Tuesday afternoon the board terminated 27 contracts. A total of 147 positions have been eliminated and at least 81 teachers and aides will not be returning.
Dewayne Robertson's connection with WFISD is getting thinner by the days. His grandchild attends a local school but his wife was recently let go by the district.
"It was unexpected, right now her only plan is to finish out the school year. That's as far as we've gotten," said Robertson.
He's attended the past few meetings in an attempt to understand all the chaos surrounding the district and their budget battle, but from what he's seen, the problem lies down south.
"I hope we regain some sanity in Austin," he said.
On Sunday HB 1 was passed. The cuts to education put WFISD in their worst case scenario. Monday we learned 147 positions were eliminated Tuesday we learned 81 teachers, aides, and central administration employees were let go, some resigned others terminated, leaving the district with almost $5.5 million in savings. But what happens if their expected cuts aren't as deep as projected?
"We would certainly look at this last round of budgetary reductions," said WFISD Superintendent George Kazanas. "We've been calling it a phase three reduction so we would certainly look at restoring positions that were part of phase three."
Three teachers and five paraprofessionals let go from the phase three trims will be the first looked at to return back to the district. It will continue to be a long ride for all WFISD staff. The level of uncertainty will remain in the air for quite some time but those who do know their future are asking others to chime in on the matters.
"Wake up. Get involved. It's the only way we're going to change the system," said Robertson.
An additional 59 employees resigned or retired, but they were not due to the budgetary matters, but personal choice. Some of those positions will be filled others will not.
Though many positions have been lost, many others were saved during this special session meeting. The board decided to extend the contracts of hundreds of employees who were up for renewal. The contracts of Assistant Superintendent Tim Powers and Chief Financial Officer Tim Turner were also extended for the 2012-2013 school year.
Here is a break down of the cuts made in the district.
Teacher/Staff Cuts: Total 81
Budget Action Report: 5 teachers, 3 central administration, 7 paraprofessionals
Phase II: 29 teachers, 29 paraprofessionals
Phase III: 3 teachers, 5 paraprofessionals
Both their worst case scenario ($11.4 million in cuts) and best case scenario ($5.5 million in cuts) have the same savings is payroll of $5,496,350. but overall their projected general fund surplus would differ.
Worst Case Scenario Surplus: $337,697 Best Case Scenario Surplus: $6,281,033