School Districts Prepare for Latest Round of Cuts From Austin

by Victor Lopez
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND- School districts across the state are preparing to tackle the latest round of budget cuts to come out of Austin.

MISD officials talked about how they plan to face the budget battle.

Like his colleagues across the state, Dr. Ryder Warren, Superintendent of the Midland Independent School District, is weighing his options very carefully. When you consider, that on a best to worst case scenario, MISD is facing a revenue reduction between 21 and 32 million dollars, you'll agree that's nothing to take lightly.

"Scary, frightening, horrible. The most frightening numbers always come out first then they get better throughout the session," Dr. Warren said.

In his first year in Midland, Warren is dealing with the same situation as his counterparts across the state, keeping a school district running with limited resources.

According to Warren, "From House Bill one that was sent out a couple of weeks ago to Senate Bill one that was sent out last week, both of the numbers are, to me, just unacceptable cuts in public education."

Like everyone else, Warren and his staff must juggle the needs of their students with the demands of the state legislature.

"It would be the most unacceptable kind of cuts," Warren explained.

The challenge is where to make those cuts. Do you cut salaries and departments or do you go as far as closing or consolidating entire school campuses?

"You address that by putting everything on the table and the potential impact. How do you that? How do you deliver quality and more services with less resources? That is our challenge and that is what we are having to work towards," ECISD Superintendent, Hector Mendez, said.

Mendez says, as drastic as their proposed cuts are, they can be found within the budget. But it will have serious effects on the district.

But there are some things Dr. Warren just won't accept.

"I didn't get into this business to lay people off. We have a staff here that are making impacts on children. They are making very positive impacts on children and we need every one of them," Warren said.

The big question is with other areas in the state budget to consider, what makes education such a prime target for such massive cuts?

"The state budget for public education is over $40 billion," Warren said.

"Right, wrong or indifferent, these cuts need to be made. Public education happens to play a large part in that role this year," Mendez added.

Both superintendents say, no matter what, it will be business as usual in their respective districts. They are going to continue to provide quality education to every student on every campus every day.