Hundreds Notified Of Layoffs At Plano ISD

By Matt Thomas, 1080 KRLD & Jay Gormley, CBS 11 News

PLANO (CBSDFW.COM) – The Plano Independent School District is notifying nearly 350 employees that their positions are being eliminated.

Some districts have yet to determine how many they’ll let go because the extent of the state’s budget shortfall is not yet known, but Plano Superintendent Dr. Doug Otto tells KRLD they’re already notifying staff because they know there is no way they will be able to avoid layoffs even if the best case scenario plays out in Austin.

Superintendent Dr. Doug Otto of the Plano ISD on 1080 KRLD

Plano ISD faces a $65 Million shortfall over the next two years.
“Now that the positions and people have been identified, the board will have to make it official at the may board meeting. We’ll begin to build this reduced amount into our budget and hopefully begin to whittle away at what’s going to be a fairly large deficit,” Dr. Otto says.

School Board Trustee Missy Bender lays the blame squarely on the state legislature.  “I don’t think there is a vision for what state collectively in Austin believes in and beneath all of that, the ability to fund that is broken.”

On Tuesday the board reviewed a plan that woulc cut $26.6 Million out of their budget, but that still leaves a huge hole.  One consideration is to ask Plano residents to vote on a tax increase.

A handful of parents and teachers attended Tuesday’s meeting.  Parent Kimberly DeWeese would be in favor of an increase.  “I didn’t think anyone sits at home and says, wow, I have this extra $300 this year and this is what I’m doing with my property taxes. That small amount per person will really add up to the district.”

About 220 of the positions to be cut are teachers, but Dr. Otto says hopefully that number can be reduced by staff who voluntarily leave at the end of the year.


One Comment

  1. callen says:

    This is a shame. But do not be fooled. Fact: if the rich paid their fair share of taxes we would not be faced with this dilemma. The average person on Wall Street gets paid more in one year than the average middle class person gets paid in a lifetime. See the millions upon millions that company CEOs and executives get paid annually? It all goes into tax shelters. The FACT is that we cannot afford the basics because the rich have all the wealth. Did your IRA seem to vanish in 2008? Well, trillions of dollars were withdrawn from the stock market. Did YOU get any of it? I did not. When will America realize that the gap between the wealthy and middle class continues to get wider and wider? Just look at the thousands of manions and Mercedes on the road. They are taking advantage of the middle class and our represntatives and senators are in their hip pockets. So sad. So sad. What will you do to fix the problem????

    1. RNW says:

      Very few people who work on Wall Street live in Texas. The problem is not how much the rich make. The problem is that Texas, like the nation, has spent beyond its means. If teachers could be given a choice, I imagine they’d pick a 10% pay cut rather than having 10% of the teachers laid off. But that is not an option, evidently. Texas needs to spend less and so does the whole nation. I

      1. potatochobit says:

        that is a good point
        but we must not forget the Texas public school system is horrible to begin with
        growing up my father was in the military and I went to four high schools, two of them in Austin TX and they were without a doubt the worst schools with the worst rules at encouraging kids to be educated. I have some friends who are teachers here and they are constantly having to work part time or on an on-call basis. When people say Texas is a backwards state they are not joking it is based on many facts. Plano, however, I would think is better off than other cities like Dallas or Richardson so maybe they are just cutting loose ends?

      2. John Goodell says:

        They should have done their job. If the 50% of people that don’t pay taxes, paid their taxes, it would not be a problem. Don’t lay off last in, lay off the worst workers.

      3. NoObamaIn2012 says:

        The rich are people like Ross Perot they are “makers” – they make things including money. He was smart, worked hard, risked everything, provided hundreds of thousands of people good jobs and investors good returns. Why should he be forced to give anything to someone who is not smart enough to work hard, has risked nothing, never created a job for anyone including themselves and no value of any kind to investors or anyone else for that matter? These people are the “takers” – they produce nothing of value and freload. Please explain that to me callen? What if Ross Perot, Michael Dell, Henry Ford and all the “rich” decided to be “takers” instead. You know wait for the government to take from someone else and give to them? Well, that is socialism and America never would have been.

    2. TheWayItIs says:

      Let’s put tax cuts in terms everyone can understand. Suppose that every day,
      ten men go out for dinner. The bill for all ten comes to $100. If they paid
      their bill the way we pay our taxes, it would go something like this:

      The first four men (the poorest) would pay nothing.
      The fifth would pay $1.
      The sixth would pay $3.
      The seventh $7.
      The eighth $12.
      The ninth $18.
      The tenth man (the richest) would pay $59.

      So, that’s what they decided to do.

      The ten men ate dinner in the restaurant every day and seemed quite happy
      with the arrangement, until one day, the owner threw them a curve.

      “Since you are all such good customers,” he said, “I’m going to reduce the
      cost of your daily meal by $20.”

      So, now dinner for the ten only cost $80. The group still wanted to pay
      their bill the way we pay our taxes.

      So, the first four men were unaffected. They would still eat for free. But
      what about the other six, the paying customers? How could they divvy up the
      $20 windfall so that everyone would get his ‘fair share’?

      The six men realized that $20 divided by six is $3.33. But if they
      subtracted that from everybody’s share, then the fifth man and the sixth man
      would each end up being ‘PAID’ to eat their meal.

      So, the restaurant owner suggested that it would be fair to reduce each
      man’s bill by roughly the same amount, and he proceeded to work out the
      amounts each should pay.

      And so:
      The fifth man, like the first four, now paid nothing (100% savings).
      The sixth now paid $2 instead of $3 (33% savings).
      The seventh now paid $5 instead of $7 (28% savings).
      The eighth now paid $9 instead of $12 (25% savings).
      The ninth now paid $14 instead of $18 (22% savings).
      The tenth now paid $49 instead of $59 (16% savings).

      Each of the six was better off than before. And the first four continued to
      eat for free. But once outside the restaurant, the men began to compare
      their savings.

      “I only got a dollar out of the $20,” declared the sixth man. He pointed to
      the tenth man “but he got $10!”

      “Yeah, that’s right,” exclaimed the fifth man. “I only saved a dollar, too.
      It’s unfair that he got ten times more than me!”

      “That’s true!!” shouted the seventh man. “Why should he get $10 back when I
      got only $2? The wealthy get all the breaks!”

      “Wait a minute,” yelled the first four men in unison. “We didn’t get
      anything at all. The system exploits the poor!”

      The nine men surrounded the tenth and beat him up.

      The next night the tenth man didn’t show up for dinner, so the nine sat down
      and ate without him. But when it came time to pay the bill, they discovered
      something important. They didn’t have enough money between all of them for
      even half of the bill!

      And that, boys and girls, journalists and college professors, is how our tax
      system works. The people who pay the highest taxes get the most benefit from
      a tax reduction. Tax them too much, attack them for being wealthy, and they
      just may not show up at the table anymore. There are lots of good
      restaurants in Europe and the Caribbean .

    3. TL says:

      The rich pay more than half of all tax revenues. If the idiots running the government knew how to budget appropriately, we would not have this problem!!!

    4. Barbara says:

      The problem is with the state leadership. The legislature and Governor Perry refuse to use the “rainy day fund” which would solve the budget shortage problem. The shortage is due to the recession which is due to Wall St banks. As the economy improves, as it is slowly doing, things will be better, more people will be working and tax receipts will normalize. Now is the time to use the rainy day fund. Contact your state representatives and the governor and demand this fair solution. Also, corporations headquartered in Texas, like Exxon/Mobile should pay taxes here. Currently they do not due to deduction loop-holes.

    5. handley says:

      Seriously you are blaming Wall Street?????????????? OMG…try ROBIN HOOD! Has anyone asked the question….How many teachers were laid off in the schools that PLANO sent tax payers money too?? Prob none! I moved here so that MY tax money stayed in the community. I still believe that this Robin Hood law has to be illegal……we certainly can see what it did to PISD!!

      1. callen says:

        The 2008 collapse of the economy was caused by greed on Wall Street. Basically ALL pensions and retirement holdings, including teachers and government workers and the ordinary corporate employee’s 401(k) were affected. The results reverberated throughout the economy. Now, finally, the federal government is launching legal action against the crooks who led the assault. This pertains to the problem at hand because without these trillions of dollars in assets, ordinary people cannot spend dollars to be taxed to fund Texas schools. Get it????

  2. Soriel Hanson says:

    Well Callen I’m poor and you have more than me, so I’ll be over later and I’d like your car, about $2000 bucks(this week) and while your at it order me a pizza, no extra cheese, this way you can feel better about things……unless your just looking for someone else to pay up…..put your money where your mouth is………I’ve got $54.23 in a bank account, what’s in your rich fat cat?

    1. callen says:

      Soriel, I do not understand your posting but just let me say that I am not at all a rich fat cat. On the contrary, I would just like to see a decreasing instead of vastly increasing monetary gap between the rich and poor in America. (I do not want your pizza. Eat it in peace…. But it smells good from here. Ha ha…. )

  3. ibnweb says:

    The voters of Plano voted for every Republican running. Now they have to face the Republicans are making instead taxing those wealthy Texans who pay little or nothing.

  4. opinionsforall says:

    Now deport all of the illegal foreign invaders we paid them to teach for free!

    1. NoObamaIn2012 says:

      And dont forget all the thousands of Katrina people on top of the illegals… who the former Plano mayor so welcomed, made for free housing and integrated thousands of them into the PISD…. need more teachers and more space…

      1. seriously says:

        Yes, let’s deport illegal children so they can sneak back in, even more uneducated than before! What an amazing idea I’m sure it will solve everything. Besides that, most of the students you’re wanting to marry were probably born in the United States and are therefore legal citizens.

  5. abigail adams says:

    Schools are funded by the ISD taxes on your County Property Tax bill, they have nothing to do with income tax…or the rich not paying their fair share. With foreclosures, decrease in values of homes….the revenue accrued from taxes in the housing market boom is no longer there…just how it goes when the housing market sinks. Business’s also pay ISD taxes on both their commercial real estate property/buildings and a separate ISD property tax for their equipment and inventory. There has been a lot of abuse with this money over the years…assuming the golden pot never had a bottom. Now it is time to get down to business and educate our children…the golden days are done.

    1. callen says:

      The fact that schools are funded by sales tax is an enormous disadvantage the poor and middle class. The poor and middle class spend almost all their earnings on tax purchases. The rich do not!. Why? Because most by a large percentage goes into tax shelters. Get it? THEY DO NOT CONTRIBUTE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT TO SCHOOLS! Thing is, a large percentage of the rich send their kids to private schools. They do not care if the teacher to kid ratio is impossibly large…..

  6. Mary Avery Kemp says:

    The golden days are going to be gone as long as we continue to be brainwashed by those on Fox news.

    1. NoObamaIn2012 says:

      And Chris Mattthews should be our becon of fair and balanced news… from the obama news network (MSNBC)…. Fox News is the only thing keeping obama and his socialists and terrorists from fully ruining America.

      1. Common Sense says:

        Yeah, all of this started when Obama was in office. Another ignorant individual who has no clue what he or she is talking about and has their head in the sand when it comes to the real issue of why we’re in this mess, and it was the (lack of) leadership shown by our Texas hillbilly governor you guys voted into the White House. Also, come back and tell us what a socialist means and not continue to take the immature way out and throw the word around like a first grader tosses around the word cooties. You’ll be beter off for it, and maybe you’ll bicker less!

  7. Majellan says:

    Abigail, good point….Do you realize that Rick Perry and his fellow partiers forced the school districts to cut property taxes from 1.50 to 1.00 per thousand dollars without doing the math on how it was going to affect schools. The schools adjusted and made cuts to deal with the result of Perry’s bad math, now he cuts their budget coming from the state, putting them in an impossible position. So yes it is still tax breaks that are causing the crisis in education here in Texas.

    Everyone seems to want services for free, someone needs to start doing the math before we end up looking like a third world country. By the way, I’m a high wage earner, I’m willing to pay my part, how come so many aren’t?

  8. NoObamaIn2012 says:

    Plano ISD should have completely eliminated all sports. Period. Let those who want to play, pay, completely.

    1. Greys says:

      Agree! The top admin should probably be asked to chip in too! The superintendent makes 7 times the salary of the average teacher. Maybe he was golfing when they talked about compassion.

  9. StopArguing says:

    Quit bickering. You all are so childish.

  10. Optimistically frustrated says:

    Most of the above comments make me sad. Sure schools need to cut fluff, but this is a time in our country and state where we should be investing in the one thing that can make a brighter future for us all…young people. This bantering is a waste as this issue isn’t about class, race, or politics. I can assure you that students today have so much wasted potential. How about solutions, including paying, training, and respecting our teachers? Research consistently shows that the number one determinant of a child’s success is a great teacher. Let’s give Texas businesses the best we can produce

  11. SaraJ says:

    Property owners should not bear the burden of a school tax increase. The bigger issue is that all those families with children living in apartments DO NOT PAY property tax. If you have children and live in apartments, or any rental property that should be charged a monthly tution to go to public school.

    1. Dan says:

      Uh, I’m pretty sure that the owners of that apartment complex pay property taxes. Doh!

  12. FedUpTxn says:

    If we weren’t all carrying millions of people on our backs coming here illegally from third world countries, school funding would NOT be a problem!

  13. Dan says:

    Hey, somebody has to pay for tax cuts for the rich. Why not the children? Texas already ranks 48th in education. Lets shoot for 50. It’s the republican way.

  14. Art says:

    As of fiscal year end 2010, the Plano ISD had $126 million in cash available for spending at their discretion. It’s in their 2010 audit. Most school districts have huge cash balances and yet are screaming layoffs. Austin (taxpayers) are tired of funding these balances. Spend what you have before coming to us asking for more.

    1. Matt Pierce says:

      Great point! Check out their top salaries and tell me we could not ask the top people to chip in and save some teachers jobs! The people who are being hurt here, ultimately, are the kids while the admin sits on millions!

  15. schatzi says:

    Typical of Texas schools. Make sure this state stays near the bottom of the rankings. 48 is pretty bad. If they would eliminate the salary for the superintendent or make it more reasonable, eliminate the double layers of workers and raise taxes, Texas might make it. However, this is fitting for those who stupidly voted for pretty boy Perry.

  16. Plano HS Football Rules says:

    Bet the Football coaches are still getting paid more money than people really can imagine. It is a really funny situation when you look at the WHOLE picture. Fire some teachers, great. Look at what is spent on this dumb game they play called football, and it make you really not care one bit about this “struggling” school district. It is the same in all the others. I think Schools should get rid of all the athletic programs period, and make those who wan to play pay to play.

    I mean if it really is about education, prove it people.

  17. Handley says:

    “The average person on Wall Street gets paid more in one year than the average middle class person gets paid in a lifetime”
    Where did you get your statistics from???? Please share your fact checker with us as I am very curious.

    1. David says:

      It’s called common sense Einstein!

  18. Common Sense says:

    By the way guys, those of you who voted Rick Perry have no right to bicker about this, as most of you probably voted for W twice as well. Get over it already!

  19. Shotty says:

    I just called Plano ISD, they told me they have $133.241 million in reserves just FYI

  20. Susan says:

    Non-property owners with children should pay some sort of tuition.

  21. seriously says:

    So here’s the truth, the cuts are going to cause hardship in our education system, not to mention the dedicated teachers who are now without jobs, or worse in fear of losing their jobs. If you’re truly concerned and outraged, instead of placing blame on other people, why not be proactive, is that not what we are teaching our children? Write your governor, write your other state and local officials and most importantly HELP YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD SCHOOLS! With larger class room sizes, less support staff and resources our teachers are going to need more help than ever. So maybe instead of placing blame on the rich, immigrants, the poor or anyone else that you may feel is unjustly being educated, do something proactive to create a solution!

  22. Matt Pierce says:

    Are you kidding me?!? Look at this link. The ISD guys need to not fire these poor teachers and instead agree to a 10% pay cut in their bloated salaries:

    I bet one of these fired teachers would do a better job than the Super at half the cost.

    1. Glenn Pfeffer says:

      School district employee pay is significantly less than private sector pay for the same level of responsibility. Even if you cut the top 30 employees’ salaries by 10%, it would save only about 390k/year. That wouldn’t even begin to solve the problem. Those not in the top 30 (or so) already work long hours for low pay. Consequently, the second biggest problem (second only to the current layoffs) is in attracting and retaining good education professionals. Cut the rank-and-file pay and you simply trade one big problem for another.

  23. Glenn Pfeffer says:

    I see a lot of the same old blather. Philosophical discussions about who’s to blame are so irrelevant right now. And I don’t care how things could theoretically be done better. Raise my taxes if that’s what it takes, but please don’t lay off teachers!

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