Centerville ISD budget cuts could mean elimination of programs and jobs

Judy Holcombe, a pre-k teacher with 20 years experience, could lose her job
Judy Holcombe, a pre-k teacher with 20 years experience, could lose her job

By Whitney Grunder - bio | email

CENTERVILLE, TX (KTRE)- To avoid facing serious financial shortfalls for the next school year, Centerville ISD must make some difficult decisions to save money and jobs. Meanwhile, parents hope potential program cuts won't cost their kids a quality education.

After nine years as a pre-k teacher at Centerville ISD, this could be Judy Holcombe's last. She says her program, and job, are among those at risk of being taken away by budget cuts.

"I'm certified to teach pre-k and kindergarten all the way up to 6th grade and they haven't offered me a position and they're just dis-continuing my program," said Holcombe.

Superintendent Robert Welsh confirms if approved, the pre-k program will be cut.

"We'd have a multiple age program versus just a pre-k program," said Welsh.

"This is a rural area and they do need pre-k and they need that extra support before they go into an academic setting," said Holcombe.

She says it will be hard to find other work.

"With 20 years experience, walking into any district, I'm going to be too expensive," explained Holcombe.

The Family Career and Community Leaders of America chapter is also at stake.

"It's really ripping my heart out," said president of the chapter, and junior Amber Beckham.

She says consumer science classes could also be eliminated.

"Since we don't have much, they're taking away what we do have and a lot of us do have ambitions. We have dreams," said Beckham. "We want to go off and make something and by having these things on our applications, we can say we made a difference."

If both programs are eliminated, two positions will also be cut. Parents, students, and teachers are hoping the board will reconsider.

"I'm hoping to persuade them to keep it but it looks like they're minds already made," said Beckham.

Welsh explained the school board has to make cuts somewhere.

"We want to continue keeping jobs available here at the school. We want to keep kids at our school and of course we want to keep money in our banks to help pay for our programs that we already have in place," said Welsh.

Since 2005, the budget has declined significantly.

"Well, 1.7 million to 660 to start off 2010. That'd be significant," said Welsh.

He's hoping to cut at least $120,000 dollars, to save the existing programs.

As of Thursday night, the board was still in session. Check back with for updates on what decisions are made.

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