BISD's budget crisis could trigger teacher layoffs

Teachers' jobs could soon be on the chopping block at the Beaumont Independent School District.

BISD superintendent, Timothy Chargois, Ed.D, addressed that possibility at Thursday night's board meeting.

Dr. Chargois said that in the coming days he will issue a directive to the principals of secondary schools to adopt a 28-students-to-one-teacher ratio.  This will increase class sizes, which means fewer teachers will be needed.

Chargois said everything is on the table when it comes to trying to solve the district's budget crisis, and that includes layoffs.

Chargois said, "Anytime you talk about dealing with the staff of people who support our children, all the decisions are tough."

Chargois said losing $12 million in state funding is what's hurt the district the most, plus BISD lost $4 million that two former employees have pleaded guilty to embezzling.

Then this week, the district learned it would have to refund $1.5 million to the state because it had overestimated average daily attendance.  The Texas Education Agency funds the district based on that attendance rate.

The first budget workshop will be May 29.

In other board business, in a 4-to-2 vote, trustees voted to approve a settlement with former Ozen head football coach Plez Atkins.

Chargois withdrew Atkins' contract just a few days after the board voted to hire Atkins.  This after it was revealed Atkins had been suspended over allegations he had an improper relationship with a student.

Atkins was cleared by the court system, and he said he even told district officials about incident, however Chargois claims he did not know.

As part of the settlement Atkins will receive a year's salary.

Trustees Tom Neild and Woodrow Reece voted against the settlement, and Mike Neil abstained.



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