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Keller's Friday Night Lights Also on Chopping Block

Keller ISD's proposed budget includes cuts to athletics and high school football

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    In the Keller school district, even high school football is up for budget cuts.

    High school football is sharing the budget pain in the Keller school district.

    Along with more than 200 job cuts, Keller Independent School District's proposed budget would slash $975,000 from athletics.

    The district, which is facing a $38 million budget shortfall, is proposing slicing the budget for athletics by 15 percent.

    Football programs at the district's schools would have fewer teams, coaches and support staff.

    "The way things stand right now, there wouldn't be a budget for the team to travel or pay the officials or the game workers for some of those varsity teams, and so it isn't that you don't want to staff that team or don't want to have it," said Bob DeJonge, Keller ISD director of athletics. "You find a way as an employee to do it, but there's not the funds to have enough income to have the game."

    The district's proposed budget also includes the elimination of about 129 teachers and about 110 non-teaching jobs.

    DeJonge said he would ask parents if they are willing to transition into a pay-to-play scenario.

    Keller ISD is also proposing cuts to several fine arts programs and transportation.

    The Keller school board said the proposed budget is still short about $3.2 million and is also considering calling for a vote for a tax increase.

    NBC DFW's Ashanti Blaize contributed to this report.