Keller school officials propose major budget cuts
KELLER -- School district officials outlined $16 million in proposed budget cuts Monday night that include significant reductions in the work force and to student programs.
"Keller ISD is not going to be the same place after $16 million in cuts," board President Cindy Lotton said at the budget workshop.
An estimated 156 positions -- 42 in central administration and 114 on campuses -- would be eliminated under the plan.
Many of the reductions in personnel and in programs affect secondary students. One of the biggest savings would come from changing the modified block schedule to a seven-period day at the four high schools. Altering the schedule would cut 55 teachers and save $3 million, the biggest single item on the list.
High school and middle school sports would also take a big hit. Administrators plan to reduce the number of athletic teams to save $725,000 in coaches' stipends, equipment and program fees. Bob De Jonge, athletic director, said each high school sport would lose one coach on average. Middle school "C" teams would also be axed.
Secondary schools would lose resource officers to save $460,000. Campuses would add intradistrict security personnel and give administrators and counselors more disciplinary work.
Other campus cuts would include eliminating the gifted and talented pullout program for kindergarten through second grade, reducing the number of English as a second language teachers and halving the number of elementary and intermediate lunchroom monitors.
Officials also plan to reduce the number of special-education teachers and teachers who focus on at-risk students. Help for struggling students would take a hit, officials said.
The board is expected to consider declaring financial exigency at its regular meeting at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the district's Education Center, 350 Keller Parkway.
Sandra Engelland, 817-431-2231