Tough Budget Cuts Could Mean End for Texoma District - Newschannel 6 Now | Wichita Falls, TX

Tough Budget Cuts Could Mean End for Texoma District

School districts in Texas are bracing themselves for the worst, because for many, cuts are inevitable.  One Texoma school is looking at an even deeper slash, one that could shut down the district altogether.

Monday evening Byers Independent School District held a meeting with the community and Region 9 representatives to discuss their future.

"There are concerns, people don't want to lose their school, so we're trying to do what we can to keep it going," said Superintendent Steve Wolf.

"Our son goes here, he's a junior, next year will be his senior year so we're concerned about him completing school here," said David Wamble.

Wamble is just one of many parents who filled the cafeteria of the school, looking for answers.

"We would probably be looking at a cost deficit of about $200,000," said Superintendent Wolf.

He says a declining enrollment and Austin are the main reasons why Byers ISD is looking at such a hefty deficit of 15 percent of their funding.  It doesn't just mean a slash in supplies, transportation, and even personnel, but the fact is the school may not be around for much longer unless they can figure out how to manage.

"Trying to survive at least this next year without personnel cuts to buy sometime to evaluate thoroughly all other personnel and programs before making any cuts," said Wolf.

The district is surviving off their savings of almost $700,000 and will continue to do so next school year, but after that if enrollment drops as the trend shows and state funds aren't coming in, the savings will be depleted and the possibility of combining with another school exists.

"I'm afraid that this community without the school would be in real danger," said Wamble.

Everyone says the school is the heartbeat of the town, but it's looking like it may need more pumping to survive a few more years.

Average Daily Attendance for Byers has declined for the past several years that also means a decline in funding from the state.

2001-2002  AVD  123.59

2002-2003  AVD  118.92

2003-2004  AVD  112.85

2004-2005  AVD  106.55

2005-2006  AVD  107.23

2006-2007  AVD 106.68

2007-2008  AVD  101.99

2008-2009  AVD  98.2

2009-2010  AVD  89.498

2010-2011  AVD  73.3

Their estimated fund balance (savings) in August of 2011 will be $416,279 down from $669,982 in August of 2010.

Part of the reason the district has a declining enrollment is because some parents choose to put their child in another district like Petrolia or Henrietta.  Superintendent Wolf says that's personal choice sometimes due to athletics.

Currently their elementary grades are combined two grades to a room.  There are 75 students in the district.

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