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Waco ISD could lose 200 employees

POSTED: Friday, April 8, 2011 - 4:55pm
UPDATED: Friday, April 13, 2012 - 9:54am

WACO -- The budget shortfall hit home Friday.

Lawmakers still haven't made a decision on school funding, but Texas schools are forced to make an early decision on cuts with an April 18 deadline.

Waco ISD gave their decision Friday. 200 employees mostly teachers could be out of a job if the board accepts the proposal.

Texas State Teachers Association President, Tony Uzzell, says it's a painful number to hear.

"It's a huge tragedy. We're losing a lot of great people."

The district stands to lose more than $8 million. Head of human resources, Elaine Botello, broke into tears saying being forced to lay off teachers is hard to take on.

"I also have two of my own children who are in Waco ISD, and it's sad because as a parent, it should not affect our students, and we're hoping in the long run it wont," said Botello.

However, the Texas State Teachers Association says students will be impacted most.

"The more kids you put in a classroom with one teacher, or less than one teacher, the less time that teacher can give to each kid, and it going to affect them negatively," said Uzzell.

One of the schools that could be affected most is Waco High. That's because they have more teachers, and officials say they could lose 20 or 30.

Yvette Gulley's child goes to Waco High, and she says the school was already facing the challenge of too many students per teacher.

"Already, I think, the system is over burdened," said Gulley. "To have to lose 200 more teachers in addition to that, I think, becomes very much a problem."

The board still has to agree to not renew the 200 contracts, and other budget cutting proposals are on the table if they can't meet their new budget.

One of those includes shutting down some smaller schools in the district if they can't afford to run them.

They also might have to reduce the number of workdays for some employees and the district contribution to health insurance.

Botello says they are hopeful lawmakers won't cut funding so badly. In that case, they would be able to rehire the teachers who did not renew their contracts.

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