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Teachers' associations face off with BISD superintendent - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

Teachers' associations face off with BISD superintendent

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BEAUMONT - Leading members of Beaumont's teachers' associations faced off with Beaumont Independent School District superintendent Timothy Chargois, Ed.D on his proposal to lay off 300 employees.

They told Chargois that teachers should not pay for the misdeeds of others.

The local president of the Association of Texas Professional Educators, Suellen Ener, told Chargois that those who don't work with students must go first.  She said the associations recommend bidding out maintenance, and looking at other options for the BISD police department.

Ener cited that some officers make more than $100,000 a year, she said that is the combined salaries of two teachers.

Ener also accused Chargois of continuing to pay employees who have shamed the district, and she called Chargois on the carpet for spending money appealing the Texas Education Commissioner's decision to take over the district.

But Chargois told 12News the cost of the appeal is small compared to the money BISD has already spent on other litigation.

Ener said administrators spend way more on travel than teachers are allowed to spend. 

"We have people who are used to our district having a lot of money, so they're used to spending a lot of money, and yet they have not curbed their appetite for spending," said Ener.

Ener told the the trustees at Tuesday's meeting that they have lost trust in the community.

Board President Gwen Ambres said, "Obviously mistakes were made, we would not find ourselves here, mistakes were made and I think the district and the superintendent have owned up to their mistakes."

Chargois admitted that BISD missed the deadline to apply for renewal of the grant that funded the district's adult education program.  But he also said the district would not have been able to afford the matching funds of $500,000.

Chargois said layoffs will be done "justly and equitable", and that the budget would not be balanced on the backs of teachers.

He said he is grieving over having to make the cuts.  He said principals will do the evaluations that determine the layoffs.  Chargois said  notifications will be sent out by June 12.

The board must vote to declare a financial emergency before layoffs can happen.  That vote is scheduled for Thursday.

Chargois said the district plans to host a job fair to help those who are let go.  He also said that is all water under the bridge, and now solutions must be discussed. 
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