Keller ISD Ready To Park Buses & Cut Teachers

KELLER (CBSDFW.COM) – The school buses that are now sitting parked in Keller for the summer will most likely stay that way in the fall. Keller Independent School District board president Kevin Stevenson said Monday that major cuts — which the district warned might be possible — will now be implemented after voters turned down requests to raise taxes by about $260 per year for a $200,000 home.

The district said that it will save more than $2 million by cutting all regular school bus services, a significant portion of their goal of $16 million in cuts.

Class size increases will provide the biggest savings. Classes for kindergarten through fourth grade will go from 22 students to 24 students, which will help to eliminate 33 teaching positions. Fifth and sixth grade classes will increase by one student — from 27 to 28 — to eliminate six teachers. And high school classes will increase from 28 students to 30 students, eliminating 27 teachers. That all represents a total savings of $3.6 million.

Despite the outcome, Stevenson said that he was still glad that the board held the vote in June rather than waiting until the fall. This gives the people who are losing their jobs some time to find new work. “This is going to affect a lot of our staff members,” Stevenson said, “and we didn’t want to leave those folks hanging any longer than they already have been.”

It is possible that the district could attempt another vote, Stevenson added, but he was not certain if or when that might happen.

The group that quickly formed in opposition to the tax increase, KISD Families For Fiscal Responsibility, said that it will not disband now that the voting is over. Treasurer Michelle Wood said that the group will transition to focus on other issues, after internal polling showed that as many as 70 percent of voters were opposed to new taxes. “That means the community is not satisfied with the status quo, and they want change,” Wood said. “They don’t want more taxes. They want the spending controlled. And the board, and Dr. Veitenheimer, don’t seem to understand that.”

KISD Families For Fiscal Responsibility has started an online petition urging Veitenheimer to resign.

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  • sandy

    Yes but I bet they have a hugh football stadium that they can affford to run the lights!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • Kristen

      Sad. We already share stadiums and natatoriums. And the kids already protested their coaches who were let go in Tier 1… We’re onto Tier 2 now, baby, we’re talking about way more than the pure exhiliration and beautiful High School memories of Friday night lights…

  • Glen

    One of the things they are cutting is all of the police officers on the high and middle school campuses.  They worded them as security or just “school officers” so I’m sure the public has no idea that at 4 large high schools, there won’t be a police officer present to keep the peace.

    • Kristen

      You’re right. High schools the size of KISDs are like small municipalities in themselves. Only the citizens’ frontal lobes are not developed yet. Cutting the officers is so scary it’s hardly thinkable… So sad.

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  • Janea

    These members of the KISD Families for Fiscal Responsibilty will change their tune come the fall when there will be no buses to pick their kids up, and their kids come home griping about the large class sizes. Then they will zoop, swoop, enroll their kids in private school for even more money than the proposed $260 tax hike..SMH

    • Kristen

      I can hear our kids 70 years from now, “Wheeen ayyeeee whaaaz a laaad, I walked twoooo miles, in the raaaain, uphiiiiil, all the waaaaay, cuz there waaaas nooooo bussin’… and maaaaye parents couldn’t afffffford healthcare, either……. You, Sunny, shouuuuuld be graaaaaateful…”

  • Mike

    Yes, Sandy, you are correct. In Texas, the last door locked before the school district goes out of business will be the one to the football stadium. And the last person to get a paycheck will be the coach. It’s the only part of being a native Texan that I am ashamed of.

  • Rusty

    The people of Keller will be paying even fewer taxes in 10 years when their property values have fallen due to poorly operated schools. KISD is already a joke. The great minds of Keller can’t see past their noses on this one. Fiscal “responsibilty” wins and the kids and citizens of Keller lose!

    • Dave


      I’m paying over $6.000.00 per year now. When does it stop, 8K, 10K? We have some really nice brick school buildings and sports complexes. Let’s give it a rest for a while!

  • Robert

    Why should citizens in KISD have to suffer a permanent tax hike for a temporary recession? You can bet your life that KISD won’t give back the tax hike when the economy improves. Cut the budget deeper, like the rest of us. And don’t use the children as pawns in your political money grab.

    • Rusty

      Temporary or not, $31 million is a serious debt for a school district. It calls for drastic measures, such as a tax increase. By the way, the tax rate has fluctuated from as high as $2.807207 in 2006 to the current rate of $2.602327. Tax rates rise and fall depending on district, city, and county needs. Children are not pawns, they are simply the major piece of the this puzzle that will be impacted the most by the failure of the citizens of Keller to meet their educational needs.

      • TxDad

        There should have been more thought in the budgeting process before the Administration and Board allowed spending to far outpace enrollment (3 to 1 over the last 5 years). All government entities are the same …. spending all the dollars they get their hands on regardless of the need. This is mitigated and shielded from the taxpayer during times where the economy grows, but when the property values begin to dip or stagnate, the growth in spending cannot be supported. Simply put, the last 10 years have been a spending spree …. no different in most of the other districts so any comparisons are invalidated. Just because one district is doing less spending abuse doesn’t make them excellent.

  • Kim Dar

    Has anyone asked the fat cats at the top to take a pay cut? How about the coaches?

    • Kristen

      Sad. Coaches have already been let go. The kids already pritested that one in tears. Tough love we’re teaching them, it appears.

  • sara

    Why should the people who own homes have to pay the extra tax? Why not the parents of the students. If I didn’t have kids I would not want to pay for the extra taxes.

    • Alexander Wolfe

      You pay as a member of the community. If you don’t want to pay for the community you live in, feel free to go live in Somalia where property tax rates are very low and you don’t have to worry about paying for police, fire, or schools.

  • Stacy

    The members of that CRAZY families of fiscal responsibility should be ASHAMED!!! The kids are the ones who are losing here…you should be willing to raise the taxes a bit to help them. Absolutely SHAMEFUL!!!

  • schrodinger

    Deport the illegals and their anchor babies. That ought to cut the class size by at least a third.

  • kellermom

    KISD spends $11,000 per student- $2,000 more than the state average.

    The issue is obviously not revenue but management of funds.

    Expecting the taxpayers to foot the bill for a school board and a superintendent that don’t know how to efficiently balance the budget is innane.

    This vote was no more about ‘the children’ than a teacher’s union is about ‘the children’. This was about grown ups, expecting taxpayers to pick up the tab for their lack of talent in appropriating funds.

    $11,000 per student- how much is enough?

    • GladIDontLiveInKeller

      Actually this vote directly affects the education of CHILDREN. Teacher’s unions, like all other labor unions, are concerned with their members, in this case, the TEACHERS. That “untalented” board was elected by the same enlightened voters in Keller who just failed to pass a tax rate increase. State averages are funny…the state median household income is $48,286 (2009), Keller’s is $113,760, slight difference! According to this standard, Keller should spend roughly $25,000 per student. They’re doing pretty good only spending $11,000!

    • Alexander Wolfe

      So you’d prefer to spend the state average, and have average kids coming out of Keller ISD?

    • TxTeacher

      There is more to running a school district than there is to running a small business. There is pressure by the federal government, state government, and the parents in the district to offer certain programs. As a teacher in a neighboring district, I can attest for the programs that are not necessary in public schools. All athletics and fine arts should be carried out after school, not during school, and only the 4 core subjects (History, English, Math, and Science) should be taught to all students on various academic levels. Get rid of everything else and you hear it from the feds, the state, and parents. Add programs and you get applause from those three areas. That is, until you ask someone to pay for those programs in tough economic times. Lower your expectations for public school programming, including special ed. and GT, and they will be better able to manage a budget. But wait, that means little Johnny doesn’t get the opportunity to become as successful as the other little Johnny in a district far far away that offered him Cantonese his junior year!

  • ciri93

    There is no such thing as teacher unions in Texas. They are against the law. Texas is a write to work state, which is just another way to say “shut up and take it.

    • ciri93


  • Kisdmom

    After going to 4 ‘mandatory parent meetings’ before refusing to attend further I was fed up!
    They without fail let off with the fact that they had a one-time stimulus of 8 million dollars that they had to make up for since they weren’t going to receive it again.
    Wait…you budgeted a one-time stimulus multiple times and you’re teaching my kids math? And you want more money? I’m thinking NO.
    Stop building your fancy high-tech school, figure out how budgeting works, dip into the $45 million surplus you have but don’t want to spend and stay out of my wallet.

  • Hunter Barbosa

    There’s a 45 million dollar surplus in Keller? Why isn’t it being tapped?

  • Mike

    Apparently as every school district in Texas has done, Keller ISD adopted a budget that included an expectation of continuing to receive a lot of Federal money that was not guranteed. Based on this false assumption, they expanded in terms of physical plant and employees over a period of several years. Now all of a sudden that bottmless well of Federal money has gone dry. It’s only a matter of time before they have to dip into that $45million surplus, and it won’t take more than a year or two for that to be gone. Then Keller will either approve a tax hike or declare bankruptcy. In all fairness, the Keller Board has done nothing that every board in Texas is not guilty of.

  • music mom

    There is not a surplus. It’s savings, and it’s not the same. School districts are required by the state to keep a balance in savings for emergencies–not fiscal emergencies, REAL emergencies like fire, tornado damage, etc. They have to be able to finance those situations until insurance pays up, which we all know does not happen right away. The number and size of the facilities in KISD require a substantial savings in the bank that is not available for other uses.

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