LISD braces for budget cuts - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

LISD braces for budget cuts

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By James Clark and Alex Butler - email

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Lubbock ISD braces for state budget cuts as Texas struggles with a budget deficit of up to $27 billion in the upcoming biennium.  LISD Trustees on Thursday will consider a plan to eliminate jobs in its administration.  The goal is to cut costs without cutting teachers' jobs. 

"How do you reduce an annual budget by around $10 million dollars?" said LISD Superintendent Dr. Karen Garza.

That's the question Lubbock ISD plans to answer at Thursday morning's special session and it begins with the administration building.

"The Board of Trustees will consider a reduction in forces at the central office, ...  and they'll specify what job categories that we'll be looking at," Garza said.

Garza says the Central office has 251 positions; 41 are administrative and the rest are support.

"The work they do is critical work it will have to be distributed to other individuals or they'll be diminished services," Garza continued.

All affected persons could be notified that they no longer have a job by the end of the week.

"There will be a vote, in fact its favorable that we will begin meeting with employees all Thursday afternoon and all day Friday."

So, how many jobs will LISD cut? Dr. Karen Garza says, "the number and all that is still to be determined."

Another number that's unknown is just how much funding they will lose. The estimated amount of funding loss is at least $10 million.

"Our cuts may be more than that.  If that happens we'll have to use some of our fund balance, some of our reserves.   And then we'll have to take additional reductions starting next year, but well have to see what happens."

The exact amount won't be available until the legislative session ends. Garza says her main goal is to protect the classrooms so as to not lose teachers.

"Assume worse case scenario, then everything is on the table.  Twenty seven million is a lot for our school system to lose.  It would be devastating to the district," Garza said.

The special session meeting is Thursday morning at 7 AM.

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