Midland ISD Proposing Cuts and Changes

by Nick Lawton
NewsWest 9

MIDLAND - On Wednesday, NewsWest 9 received a press release from Midland ISD Superintendent Ryder Warren detailing exactly what he's looking at changing once the state budget cuts come down on the Tall City.

It revealed three key points of cuts and changes being considered.

One of the keys has to do with the Carver Center, where elementary school Gifted and Talented students go for studies two days out of the week.

With a new state curriculum, the State of Texas Assessment of Academic Readiness (STARR), coming into play next year, instead of pulling Gifted and Talented students out every week and disrupting their learning, the Carver Center could become their new home.

"Creating an elementary school," Warren said. "A five-day-a-week elementary school that serves our Gifted and Talented students but infuses the curriculum standards."

Another point deals with outside programs that the district buys and brings in.

Programs like Lead Your School, Academic Language and Smart Goals will most likely not be around next year.

"It's some things that we can do ourselves," Warren said. "And again it's all about operating more efficiently and doing things that we can do ourselves without having to go outside and have somebody else come in and show us how to do it."

Another plan is the proposed closures of two Early Childhood Centers in Midland: West and Bunche.

The Superintendent said the buildings aren't up to par and will move the programs to be placed in nearby elementary schools.

"My challenge is the facilities that we have our programs in, it's just, they're done," Warren said. "We're going to try to expand those programs to our neighborhood elementary schools where we do have more room where we have more capacity than what we have now."

But one Midland mother is concerned for her child.

Jennifer Fletcher's son, Charlie, has autism, and she said the center helped him in a way she's not sure a standard school will.

"My son for the first time in his life told me he loved me this year," Fletcher said. "I don't believe it's gonna get the attention that it had before. The children were really focused on at four years old and I believe they'll just maybe be a number."

NewsWest 9 also talked to a teacher with Midland ISD, who said he believes any changes made will be in the best interest of the children.

"Kids are number one,'" Kevin Clark, Alamo Junior High Teacher/Coach, said. "So the district's gonna make a choice based on what's important for the kids first. We feel that is what they're intending to do."

Superintendent Warren said the changes will be kept far away from staff members and students.