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.