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BISD's financial crisis could put schools on the chopping block - 12 News KBMT and K-JAC. News, Weather and Sports for SE Texas

BISD's financial crisis could put schools on the chopping block

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Beaumont Independent School District Beaumont Independent School District
BEAUMONT - The layoff process has officially started at the Beaumont Independent School District.

In addition to job cuts, we're getting word from high-ranking BISD officials that low attended schools could also eventually be on the chopping block.  No one would go on the record with a specific school's name, but three BISD sources say Austin Middle School is one that has seen a drop in enrollment.

In the meantime, teachers are still fighting for their jobs.

Sebrina Dollar is the vice president of the Beaumont Teachers Association, she also teaches kindergarten at Blanchette Elementary, where Friday afternoon her principal spoke to her staff about the impending cutbacks, which Dollar says now include losing sick days.

Dollar said, "Instead of getting the normal 10 sick days for next year, we could get two to start with, then we earn them."

But that's for teachers who don't lose their jobs, and on Friday, Chargois sent principals a letter outlining the criteria they would follow in deciding who would get laid off.

Thursday night, during a budget hearing, Chargois announced the process would start Monday, June 2nd, but the marching orders went out Friday, and sources within the district tell 12News that lists of targeted people started circulating earlier this week.

The exact number of cuts has not been released, and that frustrates and angers teachers.

Dollar says there are legal guidelines that must be followed during the work reduction, but she says there's already evidence of some administrators bullying their staff.  Dollar showed us an email sent out Friday.  The principal at Odom Academy sent it to teachers telling them to submit their resume information by the end of the day.  She wrote, "If I don't have it for the weekend, I'm going to have to assume that you do not wish to work in the district next year."

12News has also obtained a letter sent by the general counsel for the Texas Teachers Association to BISD attorney Melody Chappell advising against the district's administrators using bullying tactics against teachers.

We have also learned about another proposal that's been circulating in the administration building, in which $1,000 would be deducted from each employee's paycheck in order to save jobs.
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