It's hard economic times for Texas school districts due to decreased funding from the state, and Beaumont Independent School District Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois knows the Board of Trustees has work to do.
"Over the past couple years we've lost approximately $5 million a year (in funding)," Chargois said Friday afternoon.
On top of decreased funding, another issue the district faces is asking teachers to shell out $69 a month to cover a rise in health care costs. Right now health insurance for teachers is paid for in full by the district.
"We're going to ask that our staff be patient with us... in a time where you need every dollar that you can get," said Chargois.
Trustees have 4 different budget proposals for the upcoming 2013-2014 school year to choose from: Plan 1A, Plan 1B, Plan 2 and Plan 3.
Plans 1A and 1B maintain the current state of things, but Plan 1B covers the increased health insurance costs. 1A would make teachers pay the monthly increase, which would save the district an estimated $2.6 million.
Plan 1A would require pulling $8.4 million from reserve funds, which currently has about $26 million remaining. Plan 1B would take out more than $11 million.
Plan 2 would see new spending cuts take effect and require about $5.2 million taken from reserves. Plan 2 would eliminate Christmas bonuses for teachers, it would get rid of incentive payment plans which reward schools for high performance, and would eliminate 21 full-time positions.
"We do not want to lay anybody off, however, we will be looking at elimination of positions through attrition and resignations," Chargois said, which means that no one would be fired, but the district would not replace certain employees who retire or resign.
Plan 3 would not dip into reserves at all but sees the harshest cuts. It has all the same cuts as Plan 2 but would eliminate 40 full-time positions, and would cut programs that require overtime pay, such as after school programs.
"Like instead of running a 4 day after school program, we may be asking our campuses to only run 3 days a week," said Chargois.
Chargois says the district will have more money to work with if Governor Perry signs a bill later this month providing more state funding for schools, which would considerably lower the amount of money needed from reserves in all of the plans.
Chargois says none of the plans call for tax increases.
The Board of Trustees will review the plans at their next budget meeting on Thursday, June 13th. Chargois says the board will vote on a plan at the end of July.
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