WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — The Wichita Falls Independent School District continues dealing with a budget deficit and are now having to make some tough decisions.
During a nearly five-hour meeting Friday morning, school board members discussed where they could find savings throughout the district.
Throughout the lengthy meeting, Acting Superintendent Debbie Dipprey said they wanted to address programs over people.
As the WFISD weighed staffing decisions, many – including former WFISD teacher Melanie Krotzer – are voicing concerns.
“I know there needs to be reduction of staff and programs and materials, but I think there is a way to focus to make sure the impact on students and staff is minimized,” Krotzer said.
As an Air Force veteran who taught for 14 years across four states, Krotzer said teaching with problems surrounding the district only makes this profession tougher.
“Teaching in the current climate has become somewhat unsustainable and unhealthy and actively detrimental to physical, mental, emotional health and well-being,” Krotzer said.
The WFISD School Board voted for program changes that would eliminate 25 jobs from around the WFISD after identifying $848,000 in potential savings in programs and $1,076,000 in the district budget.
There will also be continued attempts to recover revenue in the near future with reduction and termination of probationary contracts and at-will positions, which leaves a cloud over much of the district to end the year, but Krotzer wants to see the district protect what’s most important: the education of the students.
“I still volunteer and tutor, and I hope to continue to do so because I love the district, and I love the kids, and I know we can do so much better,” Krotzer said.
By putting more trust in teachers and valuing their input, Krotzer hopes the WFISD can limit classroom size in the early grades to build a better foundation as they move through the district.
“I’m not saying that I have all the answers, I’m saying that there is someone in this district – and by gathering input and putting all that collective knowledge and experience together – that we can affect positive change,” Krotzer said.
Krotzer is one of many hoping for positive change out of a negative situation.