Hutto ISD will hold two public input meetings Feb. 20 and 22 as the district faces finding $1.2 million in cuts from its projected $38.9 million 2012-13 school year budget following a failed tax ratification election in November.
The meetings will take place at 6:30 p.m. both days at the Performing Arts Center at Hutto High School.
"I was hoping that TRE [tax ratification election]would pass and that we could be thinking about STAAR, EOC [End-of-Course exams] and college and career readiness instead of worrying about how we're going to affect staff and students. I wanted to be able to concentrate on education and instruction," Superintendent Doug Killian said.
About 57 percent of voters rejected a 6-cent increase of the maintenance and operations portion of the tax rate in November, which would have provided about $1.2 million in revenue to the district and offset a reduction in state funding of the same amount.
School officials said they are hoping parents and community members will help the district decide what to cut through the public meetings.
The district has prioritized potential cuts into Tier One, Two and Three cuts. Tier One cuts could go into effect immediately or next school year and Tier Two and Three cuts would depend on whether voters approve or reject a 13-cent tax rate increase in September.
Killian said even if the 13-cent tax rate passes, the district will still have to make cuts because it must pass its budget by Sept. 1.
Some Tier One cuts being considered are:
Restructuring Legacy Early College High School program—$281,000
Reducing technology budget—$63,000
Reducing curriculum budget—$44,000
Charging for golf, swimming and tennis—$31,250
Eliminating travel to away sports games—$22,000
Reducing central administration budget—$21,000
Eliminating student athletic insurance—$19,000
Reducing Hutto High School budget—$15,041
Cutting standby ambulance services at football games—$11,000
Eliminating purchase of letter jackets—$5,500
Reducing Hutto Middle School budget—$8,200
Reducing Farley Middle School budget—$8,137
Eliminating charter buses—$6,000
Reducing Nadine Johnson Elementary budget—$5,347
Reducing Hutto Elementary budget—$5,161
Reducing Ray Elementary budget—$5,025
Moving middle school football games from high school stadium to middle school stadiums—$5,000
Eliminating security at sports games—$5,000
Reducing Cottonwood Creek Elementary budget—$4,942
The Tier One cuts would amount to a total of $757,678 if they are approved.
Tier Two cuts include eliminating two art and two music teaching positions among other reductions that would cut $345,000 from the district's expenditures.
Hutto ISD spokeswoman Emily Grobe said Tier Three cuts total $834,000 and are worst-case scenario measures. The cuts would include charging for cross lifting and powerlifting, eliminating two band assistants, increasing student/teacher ratios and reducing counselors or assistant principals.
Tier One, Two and Three cuts would result in a total of $1.9 million if they are approved.
"We're trying to minimize the impact on kids, but all this stuff is going to impact kids. Even the kid who wants a letter jacket is going to be completely impacted," Killian said.