The Hitchcock Independent School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday took no action in declaring a financial exigency, avoiding a step toward calling for layoffs of staff at the district.
The board considered a reduction in force, which would have allowed the district to lay off teachers and other staff members in order to absorb as much as $2 million in budget cuts as a result of anticipated reductions in state funding.
According to Interim Superintendent Lee Knapp, the district has realized enough savings through its early retirement and resignation incentive program and other budget cuts to avoid calling for the layoffs.
“We had enough of people who took our incentive program to retire, and the people who were leaving resigned anyways,” Knapp said. “Basically what we did we saved a bunch of jobs by just moving people around and it all worked out good.”
Approximately $1.4 million in cuts already made or planned at the district, according to Knapp, who said that Hitchcock ISD is doing well compared to several other school district also facing budget issues due to reduced state funding allocations.
“We’re in pretty good shape, not great shape, but pretty good shape,” he said.
The school board voted unanimously to cancel the May 14 elections for District 3 and District 5 on the school’s board of trustees.
Trustee Pat Turner in District 3 and Dianne James in District 5 filed for re-election and are unopposed. They will both be sworn in for new terms in May.
The school board voted unanimously to adopt a fee reduction amendment to the interlocal tax agreement with Galveston County. The fee is levied on a per parcel basis by the county for costs associated with tax assessment and collection services provided to area tax entities, such as Hitchcock ISD.
All members were present during the meeting. Agenda