Superintendent says schools in East TX in dire financial need - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Superintendent says schools across East Texas in dire financial need

Diboll ISD Superintendent Gary Martel says the state's current funding is unfair. Diboll ISD Superintendent Gary Martel says the state's current funding is unfair.
Diboll Jr. High Principal Mark Kettering says his teachers are already going above and beyond the call of duty; budget cuts will push them further. Diboll Jr. High Principal Mark Kettering says his teachers are already going above and beyond the call of duty; budget cuts will push them further.
Hands-on science experiments like the one pictured would be the first to go following budget cuts. Hands-on science experiments like the one pictured would be the first to go following budget cuts.
A group of Diboll 8th grade students work diligently on a science assignment. A group of Diboll 8th grade students work diligently on a science assignment.
DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) -

By Jena Johnson - email

DIBOLL, TX (KTRE) - Diboll ISD Superintendent Gary Martel says his district is feeling the heat of budget cuts.

"We are not in the process right now of thinking about laying off anyone in any of our departments, but we are looking at not filling certain staffing areas if we feel like we're over staffed there," Martel said.

The state's funding formula is essentially calculated by attendance in each district. In Angelina County, Lufkin ISD receives the most money per student at $5,056, Zavalla ISD, the lowest at $4,631. And Diboll schools, sit right in the middle of funding at $4,980.

Martel says it's unfair that other Texas districts, similar in size receive three times the funding as Diboll.

"A Diboll student is just as important as a student in the Panhandle, we take the same test okay?" Martel said. "We take the same TAKS test. We're held under the same No Child Left Behind laws. Our students should get the same amount of money as everyone else."

Martel says if his district is forced to make cuts, some programs may not exist after next year.

Hands-on science programs like this would be the first to go. But the district says these 8th grade students need this to pass state tests. Students agree.

"We're getting to a situation to where our kids aren't getting the best possible education they can because we're cutting back on teachers, we're cutting back on staff, we're increasing class sizes," said Mark Kettering, Diboll Junior High principal.

Martel says his district is cutting what they can now in hopes he won't have to make layoffs later.

Superintendents from all the Angelina County school districts are meeting Tuesday morning to talk about the financial situation.

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