Fort Worth ISD delays decision on staff cuts

FWISD meeting

Credit: WFAA

Students were in the audience and at the podium at Tuesday's meeting of the Fort Worth ISD board of trustees.

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by CHRIS HAWES

WFAA

Posted on March 8, 2011 at 11:53 PM

Updated Wednesday, Mar 9 at 1:42 AM

FORT WORTH — The Fort Worth Independent School District delayed the toughest decisions Tuesday night about what to cut from its shrinking budget.

The trustees' choices will affect nearly every student.

Children reaching for college appeared at Tuesday night's meeting to beg for their futures, and a pre-kindergarten teacher's assistant came to tearfully plea for her job.

Meet Omar Davila and within minutes, there's a good chance he'll be showing you his acceptance letter from Sam Houston State University.

Davila is part of his high school's AVID program; its goal is to get at-risk students into college.

"I got the opportunity to go to the college of my dreams, and to get it paid for," one of the AVID students told the trustees.

She and others appealed to FWISD trustees to safeguard the jobs of AVID program teachers.

"Without AVID, we wouldn't know there are scholarships out there," said another student.

A resolution presented to the board Tuesday night  included AVID staffers in a larger layoff plan. Targeted positions in the proposal include elementary and middle school teachers, as well as counselors and librarians. The board, however, rejected immediate approval of the proposal. The issue will be taken up again at the next meeting on April 12. 

Trustees are still trying to convince 600 more teachers to volunteer to leave early and accept a $5,000 bonus. If they can pull that off, no other staffers would have to be lose their jobs.

A pre-K teacher's assistant made an emotional appeal to retain her job.

"They can come to me, and they say, 'Miss, I don't understand something. Can you take time to help me?' And that's when I feel good. I feel really good because I have that time," she said.

E-mail chawes@wfaa.com

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