By Mason W. Canales

Killeen Daily Herald

COPPERAS COVE - The Copperas Cove Independent School District Board of Trustees took several measures Tuesday to help make up anticipated budget cuts for the 2011-12 school year caused by the state's deficit.

"We do believe there will be a cut in state funding," Superintendent Rose Cameron said.

The district is estimating a 12.5 percent funding loss next year, but it may be more like 6 percent, she said.

Cameron's comments were followed by the board approving the use of $3.5 million from the district's current fund balance to offset the state deficit.

The funds will help save jobs and allow the district to hire three additional teachers, she said.

"I won't come back and do that year after year," Cameron said of asking for the fund transfer.

To help further cut spending, the board approved the school district's fiscal year 2011-12 group insurance, but it did not increase the percentage the school district pays for its employees.

It also joined the Texas Association of School Boards in seeking a commercial electricity service agreement.

The association believes it can pool resources to find a cheaper rate for school districts, Cameron said. CCISD doesn't have to accept the rate if it is not lower than its current rate, she said.

The school board may consider a salary freeze to further cut costs, Cameron said, adding hers would be included.

"We don't like to freeze salaries for anyone, but it something that we will have to do," Board President Joan Manning said.

A salary freeze would be better than teachers losing jobs, Manning added.

The school board also approved:

The summer maintenance project list.

The joint hiring of a military student transition consultant with the Military Child Education Coalition.

The addition of environmental science to the high school's dual-credit courses.

The Texas Association of School Boards policy items.

A special meeting at 6 p.m. May 23 to canvass the May 14 election results.

The superintendent's outside employment with Texas A&M University-Central Texas.

Contact Mason W. Canales or (254) 501-7474.

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