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Fort Worth ISD Freezes Salaries, Plans To Cut Programs

By Carol Cavazos, CBS 11 News
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A student writes during a school lesson on September 4, 2003. (credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

A student writes during a school lesson on September 4, 2003. (credit: Scott Barbour/Getty Images)

We created this interactive map to accompany our online and on-screen coverage of the budget shortfall’s impact on area school districts. It allows you to track how much less each school district would receive based on the first draft of the state’s budget.

FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – Fort Worth ISD is now under an official hiring freeze and administrators say cuts look inevitable to overcome its budget shortfall.

Dr. Sylvia Reyna, FWISD’s Chief of Administration told the school board Tuesday, “specifically to Fort Worth ISD, there will be a reduction between $50 to $80 million.”

Teachers Union Executive Director Larry Shaw has made the rounds at school board meetings across North Texas and said he’s never seen budget problems as widespread as they currently are.

“This is a crisis,” he said. “This is a crisis we’ve never been in before, not like this.”

Shaw said programs would be the first to go.

“You’re probably looking at the at-risk programs being lost, the programs where they have extra help for kids who need it the most,” Shaw said.

CBS 11 News has obtained an outline of $18 million in proposed cuts in FWISD.

PEAK is on the list: The Public Educator Accelerating Kids program helps children at 18 at-risk schools. PEAK may take a $1.5 million hit.

Other proposed cuts include:

  • Campus Monitors – $1.1 Million
  • Tutors – $31,000
  • 8th Grade Soccer – $62,000
  • Power Lifting – $11,000

Though the only action taken at Tuesday’s board meeting was the hiring freeze, teachers remain nervous.

“Even still, who knows who’s going to be without a job,” Yolanda Rodela said. Rodela is a teaching assistant who attended the board meeting.

Reyna said the goal was to cut $30 million from the budget this year and $30 million from the budget next year.

Meantime, Shaw hopes the state will release money from its $9.5 billion Rainy Day fund, which is a reserve funded primarily by oil and gas taxes that refills itself over time

“It’s raining,” Shaw said. “It’s pouring.”

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