Cedar Hill School Closure & Job Cuts Hit City Hard

By Steve Pickett, CBS 11 News

CEDAR HILL (CBSDFW.COM) – One North Texas school district has already taken action to deal with its multi-million dollar budget shortage. As first reported on CBS 11 News last week, the Cedar Hill Independent School District will eliminate more than 100 jobs and shut down one campus.

Beltline Intermediate School will be closed at the end of the school year and that means the student population at Cedar Hill’s Wilson Intermediate School and West Intermediate School will soon increase, as some 300 students are transferred.

At the end of the school day on Tuesday, parents picking up youngsters at Wilson Intermediate first heard the news. “They could do something better, cut back on something else,” explained parent Paul Weber. “But every child needs a good education and a good teacher.”

Mother Shalanda Cole is worried. “Well, my concern is there aren’t enough teachers in the district to teach our children, and they’re being deprived of the education they need to get.”

The Cedar Hill School Board cut close to $9 million in jobs and campus operations with one vote Monday night. The cuts are across the board affecting athletics, fine arts, career and technology.

The cuts also mean nine elementary and intermediate schools will lose librarians, counselors and assistant principals.

Rather than wait for the ‘ax to fall’, the school board took the action now, based on the district’s current financial outlook. “The biggest impact is on our children. They are the ones affected by all of this,” explained Valerie Banks with the Cedar Hill ISD. “We know there was no way to get around it. Whatever we did will hurt kids.”

The vote to cut jobs and close the school could be rescinded. But that would depend on a wealth of state funding changes being made.

  • http://fortworthinsight.com/news/cedar-hill-school-closure-job-cuts-hit-city-hard/ Cedar Hill School Closure & Job Cuts Hit City Hard « Fort Worth News Feeds

    […] Cedar Hill School Closure & Job Cuts Hit City Hard One North Texas school district has already taken action to deal with its multi-million dollar budget shortage. Tuesday parents some parents talked about the 100+ job cuts and closure of one school campus. Go to News Source […]

  • Becca

    What the taxes aren’t high enough. Or maybe the scoolboard don’t want to cut their salary’s

    • StopSlickRick

      School board members aren’t paid, Becca. Know the facts.

      As for taxes, obviously they’re not high enough. Property taxes were cut by one third in 2006. This was one of the primary sources of school funding. Perry adn his band of thieves “replaced” this funding mechanism for education with a business franchise tax. They put so many loopholes and exemptions into this tax that it never produced the revenue it was supposed to and never came close to making the educational fund whole. So, no, taxes aren’t high enough when you give loopholes, breaks, and exemptions to business on the backs of school children.

      • Dave

        Not disagreeing with you, but please explain why you believe it’s right to tax businesses to pay for education? Seems many think it’s the responsibility of others to pay for what is their responsibility (i.e. their kids education). Franchise tax has been replaced by “margin tax”, which imposes a 1/2 to 1% tax on gross earnings! Doesn’t matter if a business looses money that year….they still pay. Personally I believe education should be privatized and parents charged a flat rate per child for the service. It’s the only way to get this piece of the “entitlement” monkey off the back of our economy.

      • Debbie

        I have to reply on this why is it businesses responsibility to pay for a childs education REALLY? The Cedar Hill School District has a huge percentage of children that qualify for free or reduced lunches because they are living ain POVERTY. Who do grown ups think will run this country, pay into their social security entitlements, and who will businesses hire without an educated work force?

      • StopSlickRick

        I never said it was the responsibility of business to fund education. It’s the responsibility of the state – see the Texas state constitution, which promises a “free and appropriate education for all.” So, it’s the state’s responsibility. IT IS NOT THE RESPONSIBILITY OF PARENTS. If you don’t like that – change the constitution. The state can’t simply cut the funding source and then shrug it off and let the ISDs figure it out. It is their constitutional responsibility to provide this service. So they need to rework their funding system – be it a tax on business that really produces revenue, a sales tax, I don’t care. They need to fix the system to give us a funding mechanism that works – whatever that may be.

  • Fred

    Time to start a state payroll tax

    • Moose

      When did we get so many liberals in Texas? Why is taxation always the answer with you people?

      • StopSlickRick

        I can assure you if there were more liberals in the statehouse, education wouldn’t be facing the ax while Perry’s technology “slush fund,” fund for promoting moviie production in Texas, and other sacred cow projects receive the funding owed to school kids. Perhaps the problem is there aren’t enough liberals in Texas.

        Actually, fixing the taxation system is the answer in this case. Try to keep up and I’ll try to use small words – Perry cut property taxes (the main funding system for education) in 2006. He “replaced” that funding with a business tax that was so loaded with loopholes and exemptions that it didn’t produce revenue and left this budget shortfall. He knew it when he did it and didn’t care. So, the answer here is to fix the taxation so it actually produces revenue to support the services the state needs to provide. Sorry to burst your teabagging bubble, but liberals don’t want increased taxes for school – they want their funding circa 2006 back.

      • Keeping it real

        If it were “take a liberal to work day”, there would not be as many TAX AND SPEND SLICK drones to post.

      • Where's Perry?

        OK, no taxes. Where do you propose the money come from to prevent 3,900 people from losing their jobs in Dallas ISD or to prevent Austin ISD from declaring financial exigency? If not public funds (fueled by taxes), then where?

  • Brian W Price

    I still maintain that if school districts want to SAVE money it’s really simple – start by selling the multimillion dollar stadiums and schools that are so specialized that they are nearly one-one student/teacher ratio. Return Intra-mural sports to just that – intra-mural games played on the local P.E. fields at the schools. Concentrate on the basics – reading (ENGLISH), writing (ENGLISH) and mathematics. Maybe this NON-POLITICALLY CORRECT attitude were adopted, more schools could afford TEACHERS !

    • StopSlickRick

      That still wouldn’t replace the funding that Perry stole from the system in 2006. While some of your ideas are good ones, it would only be a drop in the bucket given the magnitude of this crisis. The only solution that will keep schools functional is to completely redesign the school finance system in this state. I don’t think Slick Rick Perry and the teabaggers in Austin are interested in that, though, so unfortunately we’re probably looking at more drastic measures (i.e. school closings, thousands of teachers laid off in DFW, class room ratios of up to 50 to 1 in high schools, etc.)

      • Orah

        StopSlickRick is out in left field – walking around with blinders instead of facts.

    • Orah

      Brian W Price’s comment makes waaay too much sense – it will never work.

      • StopSlickRick

        Orah, are you aware of how schools are financed? Are you aware of how their revenue source was cut by one third in 2006? Are you aware of the structural tax deficit the state faces (see Standard & Poors recent report if you’re not). These are facts – so, what’s your brilliant plan to offset that? This isn’t going away. Cutting athletics and trimming fat aren’t enough to overcome a structural deficit. So, let’s hear your plan.

    • debbie

      Have you visited a school campus lately? I volunteer on several campuses in Cedar Hill and have yet to see a one on one student ratio. My child’s 5th grade teacher (and all teachers in grades up to that point) couldn’t physically place another desk in their classrooms.

  • Mr. Bill

    Why not get rid of (GASP) some district-level administrators????

  • Robert

    On the surface its just a few teachers and a school here and there. Has anyone reported what the real tally is – is that 100,000 teachers laid off and 50 schools closed across the state. We have people working in the world today that can’t even count change back to a person. Obama is cutting school funding and now the state is cutting school funding too. What happened to we wanted to be educational superior so we can compete going forward. This is not just a 2 year budget cycle problem, is a systemic problem that is going to go on for years and years. I have no kids, yet have paid school tax for the 20 years that I have lived in Texas. Where is all that lotto money going. Thought that was for education as well. Where does Texas rank in the national standing for education greatness – not at the top.

    Why not have a Texas education telethon or a pledge drive and let people donate to an education fund to help offset some of the things going on today. Nobody wants more taxes – we are taxed in places that you would not even think of. A high percent of our wages go to tax today. There would be a revolt if anyone sat down and really put a number to what percent of your wage gets taken as a tax. But, I say the state needs to a 1 cent sales tax for education and another 1 cent sales tax for roads. These would be fair and across the board. Yes, it would have an effect on the poor. But the poor have kids and use the roads too. This state is growing as noted in the recent census reports. All of the educated folk of the state making decisions now are, well acting very un-educated. Guess the un-educated must show the future un-educated that they too can be in state government.

  • David

    For all the talking our politicians do about education, they won’t make make the unpopular decisions. Such as, cutting funding for sports first or asking the parents to pickup the bill. If it is so important that little Johnny play football then why don’t they pickup more of the bill. When I was growing up there was not alot of money going around and if I wanted something extra I paid for it my self and that gave me a sense of pride because I did something on my own. Books first , sports second or do I have the order wrong.

  • Coretta

    I don’t understand where is the money, the area has plenty of shops to build revenue for the town.

  • G.J. S.

    Solutions for the school budget crisis:
    (1) Eliminate Pre K and Kindergarten
    (2) Eliminate non essential for college courses such as PE,Band, Art, Tennis,
    Drama Club etc.
    (3) Replace elelmentary schools by giving students a laptop loaded with school
    cirriculum. No need to heat and cool a school, no need for bus drivers
    as school would be the home. Replace teachers with computers would
    still allow kids to get an education and save a lot of money for taxpayers.
    Then, sell the elementary school buildings to raise cash for the cities and
    to avoid tax increases.
    (4) Cut the outrageous salaries of some of the School Superinetendents in the
    area. One of them make almost as much as President Obama and much
    more than a U.S. Senator
    (5) Reduce every school’s support staff 50 percent.
    (6) Abolish The Dept. of Education. America is 31st in Math and 17th in
    Reading. Yet, other countries do much better than American kids on
    test scores WITHOUT sqandering billions on the Dept. of Education.
    (7) Eliminate school bus service in towns of 2500 or less. This may also
    help stop the obesity and diabetes problems of so many kids if they
    walk to school.
    (8) Hire English language teachers from India at 20K a year.
    (9) Rollback teacher pay 18 percent to save jobs. There is no reason the
    public sector cannot do its part. Nothing says a job is somehow
    (10) Hire new teachers through temporary employment agencies. Even some
    doctors are now being hired through temp. agencies. Arguably far more
    important than the job of a Pre K teacher.
    (11) Sell school football programs to investors.

    • Inittowinit

      Do any of you teach? I don’t think you understand that general teachers make anywhere from $30,000 – $45,000 dollars a year. Plus, we don’t really have summers off as that is the time we are mandated to attend continuing education at our own expense. No one gets into teaching to make the “big bucks.” I hold a Master’s Degree and very well could move into another career field, but I would rather spend my time trying to make a difference in a child’s life. People need to take time out of their day and come and sit in a classroom for an hour. You will then see what teachers have to put up with. One teacher for thirty children, who all learn on a different level is what you will find. Add to that parents who don’t want to help and you get a job that most people would run from. Now, I agree that those in administration are making more than needed but I don’t hear anyone complaining about how much money the Texas Rangers or the Cowboys pay their players. Then again, people would much rather watch their favorite team than root for education.

  • Shayla

    I am a student at Cedar Hill High School. Though you might not care, or believe that there are liberals in Texas, there are and they seem to be part of the large number of people that are trying to make sure that students aren’t losing out on the education they, we, deserve. It’s hard to do this on our own. For example, the type of education that we get now and in college for the next 10-15 years will determine how much or IF social security, welfare, or any other type of government aid continues. Honestly, it’s not myself that I’m worried about. It’s my sisters and the generations after me that are losing out because RICK PERRY decided that anything and everything else is more important than the education of the children that will one day be the source of his payroll. This budget cut is not hitting the schools hard because it has to. It’s hitting hard because Rick Perry is allowing it to. Even if tapping into the “rainy day” fund will only temporarily solve the problem, that would give the school board more time to fix the problem instead of demolish what so many programs have worked years to build and obtain.

    • crasster

      Just curious, why do you think you “deserve” an education at my expense? What have you done for me?

      I respect you as a human being, but you are forcing for me to pay for something that I should have no responsibility to pay for?

      Would you like to pay for the boat I deserve, or how about more college education that I deserve? I think I deserve all of your money. I guess you get my point.

      Nobody “deserves” anything for merely being alive and in America except for your constitutional rights.

      The school district hasn’t done ANYTHING for me but tax me over $50,000 since I’ve lived in Cedar Hill for years now. We personally pay for the education of our 5 children because we don’t think they “deserve” the money of neighbors.

      The future of SS & Medicare is besides the point. Social Security is destined to fail as it is a pyramid made for more workers on the bottom supporting those on the top. David Walker the U.S. general comptroller even says this. Welfare is more free money for nothing which should be abolished.

      Learn about freedom please. Please stop saying the pledge in your public school in vain.

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