As communities begin to witness the economic impact of the coronavirus, individuals throughout a number of industries have found themselves seeking unemployment and facing layoffs or furloughs.
Despite these concerns, school districts in the Lake Travis-Westlake area remain in a strong position to retain their staff members as it evaluates the potential budgetary implications of the health pandemic.
Eanes ISD Superintendent Tom Leonard said in an email to Community Impact Newspaper that the district has not laid off any personnel due to the situation.
“Although in most cases remotely, our staff continues to meet the needs of the children and community,” Leonard said. “We have assured all staff that they will continue to receive their compensation and benefits for the foreseeable future.”
EISD announced it will close all district facilities until at least April 6, with the students engaging in virtual learning practices with their teachers. Despite district closures, the child nutrition team, technology service team, administrators and more continue to serve the community.
During an emergency called board meeting March 14 trustees temporarily delegated authority to Leonard in light of the coronavirus.
In part, this resolution allows Leonard to make decisions regarding employee compensation if impacted by coronavirus closures.
Neighboring district Lake Travis ISD passed a similar resolution during its virtual board meeting March 25, delegating authority to Superintendent Brad Lancaster.
According to Marco Alvarado, director of communications, LTISD has not implemented any layoffs or furloughs and employees continue to receive pay during the scheduled closure. In actuality the district is still searching for new hires while practicing safe social distancing.
LTISD’s website currently lists 77 open positions from education aides to custodial staff. Alvarado said LTISD is still actively working to fill those vacancies.
Both EISD and LTISD have noted the evolving nature of coronavirus and not presented any form of budgetary implications at this time.
“We are assessing the implications on our budget.” Leonard said. “In addition, we are exploring what assistance might be available from state and federal agencies.”
Once that dynamic becomes clear, EISD will make any necessary adjustments to its budget, according to Leonard.