More BISD employees expected to lose their jobs

More Beaumont Independent School District employees could be losing their jobs soon.

The job cuts were proposed Monday night at a meeting of the Board of Managers. Interim Chief Financial Officer Leroy Saleme made the recommendations that would affect athletics, the BISD police force and transportation.

Saleme suggests 25 bus drivers be let go. This would save BISD $1.2 million, mainly because the number of routes has been reduced.

As for the BISD police force, which is currently made up about 24 to 25 full and part time officers, Saleme proposes eliminating eight positions, a savings of about $500,000.

Saleme has also not ruled out contracting out police service.

Athletics was also put on the table, we learned BISD pays $1.2 million in stipend to its coaches, that's extra pay for extra days and extra duties.

Saleme proposed that the board could reduce stipends, and he says the athletic budget could also be slashed by eliminating after-school bus transportation for students who have to stay late for practices and extracurricular activities.

Saleme said, "We're spending a lot of money after-school, taking kids home, that's one of the things we have on the table, we need to cut that out, it's about a million dollars."

But the board of managers is postponing buying new school buses even though half the fleet is past its normal life expectancy, but Saleme says they can still be repaired at an affordable price using the state's prison system.

Last year, the district spent $200,000 on towing services for broken down buses.

Saleme says another way of saving in athletics will be to move some of the coaches back into the classroom.

The board of managers expressed concern that coaches who were supposed to be teaching, were not, and permanent substitute teachers were overseeing their classrooms, hence paying double.

A school official admitted that was happening, but the new superintendent Vern Butler made it clear not under his watch.

At Monday's meeting, there was also a discussion on selling BISD unused property like land and portable buildings.

Land on Major Drive in Beaumont and Lumberton could earn the district at least $2.9 million.

Saleme also proposed a tax rate hike of just over two cents, which would mean people owning homes valued at $100,000 would pay an additional $18 to $20 a year in school taxes.


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