ECISD Releases Details of Budget Cutting Plan

ODESSA - ECISD has just released details of its plan to cut the district's budget in the wake of reduced funds from the state. The district is facing a $27 million cut in state funding.
Victor Lopez will have a full report tonight on NewsWest9 at 10:00.
Below is a release from ECISD:
Tonight ECISD administrators presented the first part of their plan to cope with a projected $27 million loss of state revenue for each of the next two school years.
            Superintendent of Schools Hector Mendez began the meeting by reiterating the District's desire to improve services for students while cutting costs. He told Trustees that maintaining the integrity of classroom instruction, even in the midst of this unprecedented financial crisis, is the top priority.
            ECISD and districts across Texas are being asked to be more efficient than ever before so in a concentrated effort to avoid district-wide layoffs and tremendous increases in student-to-teacher ratios Mr. Mendez and his staff outlined the following cost-cutting measures:
§  Non-personnel reductions ($7,340,000)
§  Utilization of fund balance ($1,612,000)
§  Forego computer purchases ($1,000,000)
§  Forego bus purchases ($750,000)
§  Utilities savings ($800,000)
§  Fuel savings ($300,000)
§  Reduction in out-of-district staff development ($253,000)
§  Reduction of extracurricular/non-UIL travel ($220,000)
§  Reduction in athletics budget ($200,000)
§  Reductions in items under $200,000
·         Legal fees, contracted services, relocation allowances, adjust school start times, uniforms, suspend employee awards banquet, reduce extra duty pay-staff development, reduce National School Board conference participation, mandatory one-week district-wide shutdown in July 2012, reduce non-instructional field trips, forego capital outlay purchases, reduce maintenance part-time pay, suspension of Employee Recruitment and Retention matching program, eliminate mailing of report cards, reduce departmental budgets.
§  Position elimination/consolidation ($1,773,000)
§  Central administration – 13 full time employees ($935,000), includes Cabinet-level positions, curriculum specialists, and other director-and-supervisor-level positions.
§  Open positions – 9 full time employees ($401,000)
§  Magnet/extra units – 7 full time employees ($437,000)
§  Extra Pay adjustments ($2013,000)
§  Suspension of Sick Leave Buy Back program ($500,000)
§  Suspension of overtime with exceptions for security, transportation, and emergencies ($466,000)
§  Suspension of teacher perfect attendance stipend ($342,000)
§  Suspension of teacher supply reimbursement ($230,000)
§  Department head extra days ($139,000)
§  Librarian extra days ($82,000)
§  Elimination of conversion of substitute pay to teacher pay rate ($123,000)
§  Other items ($131,000)
§  Program adjustments ($2,302,000) – 35 full time employees
§  Virtual High School ($928,140)
§  Truancy Program ($393,830)
§  Channel 10 ($331,200)
§  Extra clerk positions ($225,000)
§  Police Department ($143,100)
§  Communities in Schools ($120,000)
§  Other ($160,530)
The measures listed above will save ECISD an estimated $13.4 million or approximately 240 teaching positions. Mr. Mendez reminded those present at the meeting that this is just the first step in reducing the District's budget. Administrators are currently reviewing other areas with a potential budget impact of $4 million. More information will be provided as soon as possible.
While eliminating certain positions, ECISD remains fully committed to placing affected employees in other positions that are currently open or will become open between now and the beginning of the 2011-12 school year. The District's Human Resources Department is also working with other entities to help find jobs for those who cannot be placed in classroom positions. Mr. Mendez expressed how difficult these types of decisions are because people's lives are impacted.
The District has set up an e-mail account specifically to give employees and community members a place to ask questions or offer suggestions on how ECISD might deal with the state budget crisis. Comments can be sent to or click on Community Forum under the Quick Link section of the ECISD home page.
One final note from the presentation, in addition to the state funding reductions another 17 state and federal grants are being eliminated, too. The technology allotment, extended year program, early high school scholarship program, pre-kindergarten grant program, DATE program, Virtual School Network, steroid testing program, and AP incentive program are among those that will not be funded by the legislature for at least the next two years.