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Bloomington school board votes to freeze teacher pay for 2011-12 year

By ERICA RODRIGUEZ
March 8, 2011 at 7:03 p.m.
Updated March 7, 2011 at 9:08 p.m.


The Bloomington school board voted this week to freeze teacher salaries and staff hourly pay after a regular meeting.

The action comes as the state continues to work through education funding and the district braces for possible cuts.

"It's something we don't really want to do. We value our teachers and we want to get them compensated for the work they do. They all do great work, but this is necessary," said Delores Warnell-Fillmore, interim superintendent.

The district is already preparing for possible cuts to next year's budget by creating budgets that are 5-15 percent smaller than this year's, said Misty Brasfield, district business manager.

The amount cut could be anywhere from $200,000-$600,000 of the district's roughly $5.4 million budget.

"I think it's the hot topic everywhere right now," Brasfield said. "We're looking at salary projections, student projects and looking at where we can start cutting back."

The district has about 780 students, more than 80 percent of them are considered economically disadvantaged, according to the Texas Education Agency.

Starting pay for a Bloomington teacher is $36,000 and the highest paid teacher is $48,930, Brasfield said. Of the district's 141 employees, almost 80 are teachers.

Warnell-Fillmore's greatest fear for the upcoming budget year is not knowing what kind of funding the school district will receive.

"So much is up in the air, so we don't actually know what our bottom line is," she said. "It's hard to have a plan when there's so much information we don't have," she said.

Advocate reporter Dianna Wray contributed to this story.

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