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WFISD Officials Say Increasing Costs Prompt Them to Recommend Cuts

Wichita Falls ISD officials say rising expenses paired with falling revenue made the tough, cost-cutting recommendations to the board unavoidable.
    Wichita Falls school district officials are trying to make ends meet while also trying the make sure educators have the salaries and supplies they need.
    Dr. Tim Powers, WFISD assistant superintendent, says, "If you look around the state, many of the districts are proposing raises for the staff simply because they understand last year, in part, many of the salaries across the board were frozen.  Teachers didn't get a raise."
    If the recommendations are approved,  dozens of jobs and school programs will be cut in the next two years.
    Those cuts will help provide teachers the recommended 3% pay raise, and also ensure the district has money for the basics, which are becoming more expensive.
    "The cost of doing business from year-to-year, the expenses of gas, electricity, and all of that continues to go up as well," Dr. Powers says.
    WFISD has operated on a $1.04 school tax rate since 2008 and the district has tried to live within its means without raising taxes.
    That's why officials say they're faced with the tough task of recommending cuts of positions and programs to the board.
    "We're at an impasse right now to make a decision about either cutting programs or not giving raises and just giving status quo," Dr. Powers.
    The board will look over those the cost cutting recommendations during the August 9 budget work session.
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