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Plano ISD Preparing For Layoffs

By Stephanie Lucero, CBS 11 News
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A fourth-grade student looks at books in an elementary school. (credit: Getty Images/Sean Gallup)

A fourth-grade student looks at books in an elementary school. (credit: Getty Images/Sean Gallup)

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PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) - The Plano Independent School District is preparing to lay off employees.

The board of trustees voted unanimously Tuesday morning to start identifying which employees to release. Superintendent Dr. Doug Otto called the cuts “unprecedented and said no department is safe.

“The saddest thing about what started today is that we’re gong to end up with some teachers who will lose their jobs and they may never see the inside of a classroom again and that’s terrible,” Otto said.

Plano officials say the Senate version of the State budget, which uses some of the Texas Rainy Day Fund, calls for a $35 million reduction in education funding for Plano ISD. If the current Texas House of Representatives version of the budget is enacted, Plano will lose $65 million in funding.

The board did not specify how many employees it might lay off, but it did outline the criteria it will use to choose employees: Their certifications, their performance, their professional background, and their seniority.

Those being laid off must be notified by the end of the month.

“Teachers are worried about themselves” says Laurie Newby, who has worked for the Plano Independent School District for 21 years. “They are also worried about the kids who are left behind, after the cuts.”

Parents are also concerned about what programs will be cut.

“It’s really scary how it’s going to affect our children’s education and their opportunities in the future,” said Sarah Watkin, who has four children in the district.

Otto will address teachers and staff in a webcast Wednesday. The Plano School Board will have a workshop session next Tuesday to review cuts in staffing. The board is scheduled to approve the cuts on April 5.

Plano ISD Superintendent Dr. Doug Otto on 1080 KRLD

The Plano ISD is looking at a $65 million cut in state revenue because of the budget crisis.  Check out our interactive map to see the cuts other districts are facing.

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