Good evening and thanks for choosing Laredo’s most watched news. I’m Tim Gutierrez. And I’m Ann Hutyra. As school districts around Texas continue to prepare for what seem like impending budget cuts, UISD held a special meeting tonight with a presentation from their consultant with the state legislature. News was once again bleak from the estimates the consultant brought to the board. Our Ryan Bailey was there and brings us more.
Thank you Tim and Ann. The numbers on possible shortages facing the state of Texas vary, but one thing that seems certain is there will be cuts.
The state employs over seven hundred thousand people within its public school systems. Early estimates are that anywhere from 80 thousand to one hundred thousand of those jobs are at risk. Consultant Lynn Moak met with the district to give them some ideas of what to expect when the final numbers do come down from Austin.
"We're trying to tell school boards and districts what the impact of those numbers would be and have them communicate to their legislatures what overall results that they think that could have."
The district has already begun the process of looking at areas they can cut but are finding it difficult because they don't know what numbers to work with.
"Work with the numbers we have right now, even though those aren't the most accurate numbers. We'll have to wait until May for the final numbers to come in from Austin."
One of the ideas that has already been floated is combining D.D. Hachar and Juarez Lincoln elementary schools.
"We are trying to find out which way we are going on that one and it will be brought to the board next month so we can start making decisions on that."
This obviously has many teachers at the two schools very nervous about their job safety for next year.
"Many of them are single parents and they've got children to feed and bills to pay just like any of us."
Another possible casualty from these cuts is the Pre-K programs and the grant money that funds half of this program.
"The face itself is still going to be there, which is the half day. But we'll figure out what to do with the other half day and go from there."
All of these potential cuts have everyone in the district ... Not just the teachers ... Worried for their jobs.
"Teachers are panicking, principals are also nervous. All school administrators are nervous, central office administrators are nervous because we don't know what's in the future. We don't know who's going to be cut or if they’re going to be cut."
UISD joined over 530 other districts across the state in signing in a resolution titled make education a priority. They signed it in an effort to show lawmakers their efforts to protect public education. The resolutions will be presented to the state at a press conference in Austin later this month.