30 Mar Expect Some Misery No Matter the Road MISD Takes (TX)March 30, 2011
By: Midland Reporter-TelegramSource: Midland Reporter-Telegram
Texas budget horror stories continue to filter across the state, and those stories aren’t going to come to an end after the Texas House Appropriations Committee adopted a 2012-13 spending plan to present this week to the full House.
The proposed budget calls for the under-funding of public schools by almost $8 billion and Medicaid by $4 billion. This comes even after Gov. Rick Perry and lawmakers agreed last week to use $3.2 billion of the state’s Rainy Day Fund to help close a shortfall in this year’s budget.
We expect this bill to receive near full support in the House, and we don’t expect better news from the Senate. In short, this budget will hurt in the end, and we will have to do this all again next year.
Of course, these projections aren’t new for the Midland Independent School District. Superintendent Ryder Warren has said that MISD will meet this budget crisis without cutting jobs. Right now that sounds like a miracle in the making.
In fact, we are hearing horror stories all across the state. The Lubbock ISD has cut more than 70 teaching positions for next year. We have heard that some districts will lose as many as 1,000 teachers. Analysts say more than 108,000 school employees would lose their jobs under the House plan. These are serious job losses. It’s like losing a major industry for the state.
With that in mind, the MISD plan should be supported, but that doesn’t mean the misery index for MISD will be low. Warren’s plan calls for not replacing teachers and other employees who leave. Attrition will help MISD save jobs.
However, when attrition is the tool for meeting the crisis, the end result is teaching positions still are lost and students will be impacted. A teaching position not filled means other teachers may not be able to teach in the same grade or possibly at the same school. Staff will have to be adjusted to fill the holes. This in itself can produce stress and uncertainty. In some cases, the decision to not hire for a vacant teaching position and cut in another area could leave MISD in a worse situation.
If push ever does come to shove, we hope that job cuts will be fairly distributed between the administrative and teacher pools, according to the needs of the district. We hope we never have to broach this subject of layoffs with the taxpayers, so this is why we see the positives behind the current path MISD is taking.
We also recognize there will be pain at the end of the day.