Fort Davis ISD Forced to Cut Certain Extra Curricular Activities - KWES NewsWest 9 / Midland, Odessa, Big Spring, TX: |

Fort Davis ISD Forced to Cut Certain Extra Curricular Activities After State Cut Funding

By Alicia Neaves
NewsWest 9

FORT DAVIS - The Fort Davis School District is trying to keep its head above water. They're struggling from a lack of state funding. They've been forced to make some deep cuts and there is nothing left to trim.

"How do you explain that to a parent who says, 'Well my child doesn't like playing football. They like band. That's their gift, is band. They don't like athletics, they like band. Why can't you give my child an opportunity to play music?' And I have to explain to them, 'I'm sorry. as badly as I want to, I can't do it,'" Fort Davis ISD Interim Superintendent, Graydon Hicks III, said.

To help save money, Fort Davis ISD was forced to eliminate certain extra curriculars like cross country, tennis, golf and the band.

"The most frustrating part for me as an administrator is I've got 235 kids in this district that I have to take care of," Hicks said.

For the first time in six years, Fort Davis ISD will have a balanced budget. But this doesn't come without some setbacks.

"We've frozen salaries, we've gotten rid of positions through attrition, we've cut positions with program changes, we've cut costs, we've cut transportation costs, we've cut meals for kids when they go on trips, we've cut material costs, we've cut energy costs, we've cut everything we can cut. There's nothing left," Hicks said.

A dramatic cut in state funding from close to $3 million to about 600,000 dollars, and more than half of the funding landing in the hands of residents, the district had few options. Which is why they held a tax ratification election in September where voters approved to raise taxes 13 cents.

"We're not like a business. We can't raise our prices, we can't arbitrarily cut staff, we can't improve cost or manufacturing. We don't have these options," Hicks said.

The district is unsure how much longer they can wait for legislature to take action.

"Whether you're Democrat, Republican, or Independent, I really don't give a flying flip. They need to fix the law. They need to learn to work together, do their job, come up with something that addresses public school finance," Hicks said.

Hicks says he's contacted the local Congressman Ciro Rodriguez and U.S. Representative Poncho Nevarez, but no help has come yet.

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