Possible Cuts in Education has Los Fresnos CISD on Edge

Thursday, January 27, 2011 - 9:44am

Gonzalo Salazar is concerned about all the potential cuts in education but he feels his district has done a well job in saving for a rainy day like it could be this school year.

The superintendent for Los Fresnos Consolidated School District is ecstatic his district is doing exceptionally well in academic achievement and financial efficiency. In a preliminary financial allocation study for the state, los Fresnos CISD received four and a half stars out of 5, the highest ranking for all public schools in region 1.

But even with this great achievement, Los Fresnos is facing cuts like every other district in the lower valley after the state is facing a $27 billion dollar budget deficit. Salazar doesn't know how much less they'll be receiving this year but he remains alert.

"$3 million less, it could be $7 million less so that's a very large variance if it's worse case scenario, we have reason to be concerned."

But even with all the concerns, the superintendent says the school board has taken proactive measures for something like this.

"Los Fresnos is in a position where because we've been preparing for a rainy day, we can wait and see what the final numbers coming out of Austin will be."

The district has been very conservative as to how they spend their money. Salazar says every penny they save is crucial for the future of Los Fresnos CISD.

"We’ve been adhering to our staffing formula making sure we're not overstaffed, scrutinizing every position. As people resign, do we really need to fill that position? Can we get by without that slot and of course tightening the belt? Expenditures on travel. Do we really need to travel, whether it's student travel or employee travel."

The superintendent also plans to stall future projects if the state plans to make drastic cuts.

Salazar is hopeful the state doesn't make drastic cuts in education as he says our children need all the help they can get for a better future.

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