Monday, January 31, 2011

LISD Budget Crunch

LISD chief warns of laying off staff

Says those whose jobs will be affected will be told in April
By Nick Georgiou
Laredo Morning Times
Published: Monday, January 31, 2011 6:06 AM CST
While some Texas public school districts had warned of layoffs and ballooning class sizes, LISD Superintendent Marcus Nelson said Jan. 20 that he wants to give employees pay raises next fiscal year and increase the district’s contribution to their health insurance premiums.
But after meeting with lawmakers in Austin and seeing the initial draft budgets presented by the House and the Senate, Nelson, too, has warned of layoffs at Laredo Independent School District, which is home to more than 3,900 employees.

Who would be the first to go?  Here I am looking forward to the opening of the new Shirley Field this Fall semester but I'm left to wonder if the staff cuts would be so drastic so as to do away with coaches or band personnel, leaving games and halftime performances in jeopardy.

At the elementary school level you have staff that mostly focuses on instruction.  Class sizes could be increased to make up for the shortfall.  But I'm thinking the majority of the layoffs would come from the junior high and high school levels where extracurricular activities exist.
Via Dr. Nelson's blog today:
If budget reductions are 15% straight across the board, then LISD would lose between $24-$26 million PER YEAR during the years of the biennium.  All the scenarios being presented thus far are “worse case” and do not include a very healthy General Fund (199) unreserved/undesignated fund balance of approximately $54 million for the board to consider in this solution.  Currently we are reviewing all of our programs and services for ways we can be more efficient, improve our systems, and restructure our organization.
Perhaps I'm being too extreme in my outlook.  Having no football games next school year would definitely fall under a worst cast scenario.  But is this a possibility given the crisis LISD is facing?
Where would the cuts be?

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