Burleson ISD Teachers Could Face Job Cuts

Superintendent says district needs to cut budget by 6 percent

The Burleson Independent School District says the district will have to make deep cuts, despite the area's rapid growth.

Superintendent Mark Jackson said Tuesday the district will have to cut next year's budget by 6 percent.

Jackson is considering several cost-cutting moves, including pay freezes, trimming transportation expenses and layoffs.

Burleson ISD parents said they worry layoffs will lead to bigger classes and less one-on-one attention. Parents also said overcrowding could also be a problem.

"If we have overcrowded classrooms, it's not just about education. It's about safety too. That concerns us," said Chris Peaks, who has two children in Burleson schools.

Jackson will propose several cost-cutting measures to the school board on Thursday, including staggering schedules. Bus drivers would take elementary children to school early and then begin routes for older students.

"In the past, we've had 44 routes, but we can get by with 22," Jackson said. "That will save us about $300,000."

Jackson said a year-round day care for teachers and staff managed by the district will be trimmed or eliminated. Parents can also use the facility, but pay market price.

The superintendent said the program is excellent and gives teachers and staff peace of mind, but he can't justify it in the tough economic climate.

Because the state changed in 2006 the way districts get funding, Burleson ISD will get the same amount of money it has gotten since 2006, even if the district has enrolled more students, Jackson said.

"The problem is electricity costs have gone up. Transportation costs have gone up. The cost of groceries have gone up. Everyone is feeling the pinch, but we are on a fixed revenue. It's like we are on a fixed income," Jackson said.

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