Bay City ISD proposes closing two campuses

By adriana_acosta

March 23, 2011 at 8:02 p.m.
Updated March 22, 2011 at 10:23 p.m.

The Bay City Independent School district may close two schools next school year.

On Monday, the board of trustees approved to file a financial exigency plan to address the projected $4.1 million shortfall facing the district.

This action will save the district about $2 million. If approved, the schools will not reopen in the fall, said Superintendent Keith Brown.

"Undoubtedly, this is the hardest decision the board has faced in the history of Bay City ISD," he said.

McAllister and Bay City Intermediate schools are the two campuses on the chopping block. Eighty employees could lose their jobs; five hundred students would scramble to find new schools.

Once the final step is approved, students in fourth grade from each school will return to their home elementary as fifth-graders. Kindergarten through fifth grades will go to Tenie Homes, Linnie Roberts and Cherry Elementary. All Pre-K students will be enrolled at Cherry Elementary.

This is one of the many steps the school district will take to adopt a balanced budget by June 30, Brown said.

Under the Bay City reduction in force plan, recommended specific teaching fields to be affected for each school include language arts, math, science, music, physical education, bilingual language arts and special education.

Principals, assistant principals, nurses and counselors also will be affected, he said.

"We are being required to make decisions based on the projections of our elected officials prior to them actually approving the budget cuts," he said.

In January, Gov. Rick Perry announced the state would reduce funding as much as 14 percent for all districts, or a projected $10 billion. The cuts are part of the state's attempt to close an estimated $27 billion shortfall.

"The board is continuing to explore every avenue to address the financial challenges that are before them," he said.

Key factors attributing to a financial exigency for the district include historical and projected declining enrollment, Bay City High School construction issues, postponement of South Texas Units 3 and 4 and projected public school finance cuts by legislators.

"We are not in this alone - every district in the state is under the same circumstances," he said.



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