KCBD looks at potential budget cut effects on South Plains - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

KCBD examines potential effects of budget cuts on South Plains school districts

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All eyes are on the Texas Senate as it works on a budget that will likely soften cuts proposed by the House. Still, area school districts are braced for large cuts.

Last week, we told you Lubbock ISD is facing cuts between $10 and $20 million.

Wednesday, we contacted several other districts in the area. KCBD NewsChannel 11 asked about their best and worst case scenarios and how the cuts proposed by the House could affect them next year.

As of Wednesday, none of the districts we talked to had plans for layoffs, but nothing is certain until the budget bill is complete.

We'll start with Shallowater ISD. Their CFO says they're freezing salaries. Eight staff members, including a few teachers, received $2,000 stipends to retire early. Positions lost will either be filled from within or not replaced. Classroom sizes may increase and the district could lose up to $1.6 million.

Slaton ISD says at least 5 staff members won't be returning next year. It is too early for the district to decide if they'll be replaced.  Eighty percent of their budget is tied up in payroll, so they hope to make cuts in travel expenses and non-student supplies. They could lose between $300,000 and $750,000 thousand dollars.

Levelland ISD stands to lose between $1 and $3 million as a result of cuts. They hope to cut $500,000 in expenses like travel or staff development. They too plan on absorbing some positions that may be vacated from early retirements.

In Plainview, the district is losing at least 10 positions from staff. They plan to fill jobs internally or leave them vacant.

Littlefield says they're also looking at leaving vacated positions unfilled or shifting personnel around. The district feels that due to a normally lean budget, they'll have the money to help off-set cuts.

Post ISD says their budget could be cut by $500,000 to $1.6 million. They've lost 8 members of their staff this year and their Superintendent says if those positions are filled, they'll do so from within the district. They say class sizes may go up but they're currently low, averaging close to 9 students per teacher.

Lamesa ISD says they've had a 2% decline in students the past 12 years and think they can absorb at least 11 positions of staff members who decided to leave.  The district isn't sure how many of those positions would be filled or absorbed. Their Superintendent says he can't help but think class sizes will be affected, maybe two or three more students per class. They're also asking coaches to absorb vacated athletic positions.

Floydada ISD estimates cuts to be between $300,000 and $850,000. Superintendent Gilbert Trevino says the school board will vote next week on consolidating their middle school students into their elementary and high schools. Under the plan, 6th graders would stay in elementary school and 7th and 8th graders would go to the high school. They've received resignations from five staff members, including two teachers. It's too early for the district to decide to absorb or fill those positions. They're also on a hiring freeze and hope to reduce travel and other non-payroll expenditures.

We're also working on the expected impacts of budget cuts at Idalou, Brownfield, Tahoka, and Roosevelt ISD.

If you'd like to contact local representatives, we have contact information below:

State Senator Robert Duncan:
1500 Broadway, Suite 902
Lubbock, Texas 79401
(806) 762-1122
(806) 749-2828 FAX
Toll Free (800) 546-9928

State Representative John Frullo:
4601 50th Street, suite 216
Lubbock, TX 79414
(806) 763-2366

State Representative Charles Perry:
4216 102nd Street, Suite 101
Lubbock, TX 79423
(806) 368-8037
Fax: (806) 698-8047

State Representative Jim Landtroop:
P.O. Box 1965
Plainview, TX 79073
(806) 288-0387

©2011 KCBD NewsChannel 11. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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