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West Oso ISD reassures residents that teachers' jobs are safe

Wednesday was Kim Moore's first day as interim superintendent of West Oso ISD, but she said that she plans on visiting each campus starting on Thursday.

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — There are many rumors coming out after Wednesday's West Oso Independent School District board meeting. 

There are talks about a voluntary early resignation incentive program offering teachers $1,000, along with rumors that the district will not be able to pay its teachers when May comes around.

Interim West Oso Superintendent Kim Moore said that teachers have nothing to worry about in regards to being paid through May. 

"So all of our current teachers that are on contracts, they will have contracts, and they will be paid through the end of August," she said. 

Moore told 3NEWS that teachers who agree to the voluntary early resignation incentive program will be offered an additional incentive.

"We're asking people to let us know early that there's going to be a $500 incentive to let us know by Feb. 15 if they are already planning to resign or retire," she said. 

Some asked if accepting the incentive program would put their teacher certifications at risk.

"So normally, if a teacher walks out right then and there, their certification could be in jeopardy. So this would specifically say 'absolutely would not be considered a breach of contract," she said. 

Moore said that the district tries to keep detailed records of which teachers are retiring, so that way they can plan accordingly for future years.

"Every year, you have a turnover of teachers that are retiring, we know of some. But we want to be able to have hard data, who is actually, you know, planning on returning, so that we can make decisions for next year," she said.

Enrollment and attendance rates determine how much funding the district receives from the Texas Education Agency. In the 2021-2022 school year, enrollment was at 1,969, but attendance rates showed 1,713.

"There's many districts across the state of Texas that are in this same situation, you pay back, basically TEA takes the money back." she said. "We've given you X amount of money, but if your enrollment, and then your average daily attendance doesn't come in, based on the amount of money we've given you, then at the end of the year, you have to pay back TEA."

Moore told 3NEWS that the district currently has $5.4 million to use -- which she said will be enough to pay teachers for months to come.

"There's all kinds of things that we're going to be doing across the board, you know, without again, with the goal of maintaining academic programming, instructional program, we're going to give all of our students a quality education," she said.

Wednesday was Moore's first day as interim superintendent, but she said that she plans on visiting each campus starting on Thursday.

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