By Andy Ross

Killeen Daily Herald

There was more tough news handed down Tuesday night for employees of the Killeen Independent School District.

In a regularly scheduled board meeting, KISD trustees unanimously approved a motion to propose contract nonrenewals for 14 individuals classified as professional employees.

The positions were recommended for nonrenewal "due to a reduction in force based on financial exigency and/or program change," according to the motion read by KISD Board Secretary Terry Delano.

The move represents the second round of job eliminations approved by the school district as part of an attempt to bridge a revenue reduction for fiscal year 2011-12 estimated to fall near $28 million. The first round was approved by board members on Feb. 22 and encompassed 58.5 positions - 48.5 listed as central office staff.

In addition to the 14 professional positions named Tuesday night, trustees also approved two other motions, which set the stage for more job cuts expected to be approved by the end of March.

One motion implemented a program change in the middle and high schools that necessitates a redirection of funds - and as a result, job eliminations. The positions of assistant principal, counselor, campus instructional specialist, academic adviser and teacher were named as being subjected to contract nonrenewals. The specific program change was not listed.

The final motion directed Superintendent Robert Muller to identify the specific employees in the above mentioned positions who will be cut from the district's payroll.

KISD's current budgeting plan for the next fiscal year calls for eliminating a total of 202.5 positions. That figure does not include special education staff members who are expected to be cut, according to recent statements from Muller.

Beyond payroll cuts, the overall plan for bridging the state revenue shortfall includes delaying capital spending, reducing programs, cutting stipends, raising the tax rate and reducing the district's annual allocation of funds to its Strategic Facility Plan.

In Austin, Texas legislators are in the midst of working through budget bills that call for roughly $10 billion in public education cuts over the next biennium.

In other business, the board approved its consent agenda, which included an extension of a bank depository contract with Extraco Banks for two years as well as the intention to hire Lott Vernon and Co. for auditing services for fiscal year 2011. The renaming of Haynes Middle and Haynes High Disciplinary Campuses to Gateway Middle School and Gateway High School was also approved on the consent agenda.

The board approved a new teacher placement schedule and textbook adoption recommendations for 2011-12.

Contact Andy Ross at or (254) 501-7468. Follow him on Twitter at KDHeducation.

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