DESOTO (CBSDFW.COM) – It was another night of tough decisions at DeSoto ISD on Monday, where board members spent hours discussing possible budget cuts. The district has made no secret of its money issues, recently releasing a documentary and an ambitious plan to trim $20 million in costs by next year.
The cuts won’t happen without job loss: payroll is the district’s biggest expense. Last night officials said they were considering eliminating 277 positions, most of them teachers or teacher’s aides. Other cuts could come from special education, campus support and other departments.
Trustee DeAndrea Fleming pointedly asked if the administration was looking inward. “We just hired six top-heavy chiefs and so therefore we are top-heavy in our district at this point,” said Fleming. “Was there any recommendation that our chiefs will be re-evaluated based on the amounts they make, at $135,000-plus?” Superintendent Dr. D’Andre Weaver replied with just one word: “No.”
Chief of Human Resources Mia Stroy says the affected employees will be notified this week. The board will take a final vote on the cuts next week.
Trustees also voted to temporarily close Northside Elementary to save money. Students would move to two nearby schools, Ruby Young and Meadows, both of which are under capacity. District officials say Northside is the smallest campus in DeSoto ISD, so shuttering it would save money while impacting the least amount of students. The district released a short statement about the decision (below).
*This story has been updated to reflect the correct estimate of the number of jobs that could be eliminated.