WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Acting Superintendent of the Wichita Falls Independent School District has released a statement following the announcement of a reduction in force across the district.

On Friday, April 29, the WFISD Board of Trustees unanimously voted in favor of program changes that would eliminate 25 jobs from around the district.

During the five hour meeting, the board identified $848,000 in potential savings in programs and $1,076,000 in the district budget.

Throughout the lengthy meeting, Acting Superintendent Debbie Dipprey said they wanted to address programs over people.

The following statement was sent via email from Dipprey to WFISD personnel:

I know that today was a very hard day for each of you. A Reduction In Force (RIF) is one of the most stressful challenges that a school district can encounter. It is heartbreaking. I know that you are longing for information and we will be working as quickly as possible to provide it. The district leadership team will be working through the weekend. We will share information with you as quickly as we can.

I can share the process that we will be following in regard to staffing reductions. Our first priority is to provide information to those employees who were included in the RIF. We will be reviewing probationary contracts across the district in order to further reduce staff, those employees will be the next consideration. We do NOT foresee a need to terminate every probationary contract. Once we have addressed staffing reductions associated with contracted staff, we will begin the process of addressing reductions among at-will staff. We have many vacant positions across the district. We will not fill every vacancy. However, some vacancies must be filled. It is our goal to fill as many of our vacancies as possible with current WFISD staff.

I want to thank you for your patience at this difficult time. I am especially grateful for the many encouraging words you have shared with me over the last few weeks. Your kindness means more to me than you will ever know. As always, I am grateful to be part of your team.

– Statement emailed to WFISD personnel from Acting Superintendent Debbie Dipprey