By Mason W. Canales
Killeen Daily Herald
LAMPASAS - The Lampasas Independent School District decided to keep seven one-on-one and small-group teachers for struggling students despite the upcoming state funding cuts.
These seven teachers, interventionists, will cost the district about $350,000 for the next fiscal year. The seven positions serve roughly 200 students. All seven positions are currently staffed, and the board wants to continue the program for at least next year, despite LISD Superintendent Randall Hoyer calling the positions "a year one hitch" if state funding continues to drop in 2012-13.
Several board trustees agreed it would be worth using money from the district's fund balance of about $13 million to finance the positions if state funding doesn't come through.
The district is estimating between a 5 percent and 15 percent cut in state funding, due to the state's budget deficit, Hoyer said.
"That is what the money is here for, to educate kids," said Trustee Kirk Whitehead, claiming the district should use its funds on the positions.
Several trustees also agreed that the district should look at other costs between now and fiscal year 2012-13 to find cuts that don't remove teachers and other educators.
"In my opinion, this (cutting teacher positions) is not where you try to save money," Trustee Wesley Crow said.
The school board also addressed state funding concerns by joining more than 580 school districts across the state in approving a resolution that the state Legislature should make education a priority.
"Personally, I don't know if it will do any good in passing it, but it won't do us any harm," board President James Briggs said. "It shows that we are concerned about our finances."
The school board also:
Reviewed the district's bills.
Accepted Singleton, Clark and Company PC to perform the audit ending Aug. 31.
Rejected all bids from companies to install an air conditioning system at Lampasas Middle School.
Reviewed the district's enrollment.
Reviewed the district's curriculum progress.
Contact Mason W. Canales at firstname.lastname@example.org or (254) 501-7474.