Budget cuts in the educational system have left a gaping hole in many school systems. Texas was hit particularly hard with a $4 billion dollar cut in public school funds. Despite hits felt all across the board, the Laredo Independent School District was able to do the unthinkable, increase salaries for every district employee. Our Gina Benitez has more.
“I think one of the main questions we're hearing from a lot of our members is “How are these budget cuts going to affect me?”
Rita Haker, the president of the Texas State Teacher association says millions of school employees across the state have lost their jobs. Yet, one district here in Laredo was able to not only keep their employees, but also increase pay.
“Well, I can't really speak for UISD but I can tell you that Laredo Independent School District is steep in tradition, respect, and getting things done. And if you can really study it, you'll know that this district has been making more with less for decades.”
More with less, but not less for the students. Although programs in the district did have to be reorganized, services for the students will not suffer.
“We're just going to do it in a way where it doesn't impact the learning of our students and keep our attitudes right as we embrace this national economic budget crunch that we're having to go through.”
It isn't much of a pay raise, he says, but a little can always go a long way. And how was this district able to come to this decision?
“We do have a very strong team of leaders in our local that speak up for their members and their employees and who really understand in these economic times what we're going through as a state and a country that people that don't get paid very much to begin with don't deserve to have a big whack in their budget.”
Gina Benitez, pro 8 news.
After several attempts to get in touch with UISD, we will be meeting with them tomorrow to speak to them about the effects they've seen from the budget crunch and the steps they've taken to maintain their programs.