NISD takes proactive approach to doing more with less

BEAUMONT, TX (News Release) - By Donna McCollum - email

NACOGDOCHES, Texas (KTRE) - Superintendents are facing a difficult question.

"How do we do more with less?" Nacogdoches Superintendent Rodney Hutto asks.

Answers begin with changing spending habits.

"We've got to be very frugal," Hutto said. "We've got to be very intentional in everything that we do."

"We have instituted a hiring freeze which means we're not going to expand our workforce," he said.

A community meeting provided a forum to introduce "Plan for Changes." Right now, enrollment is up by about 150 students from last year. Soon as many as 300 Burmese students could be added to the mix. Funding is based on enrollment and attendance, but the formula could be changed by legislators.

"If this isn't a rainy day, I haven't seen one," board member Susan Rushing said. "Tap into some of those dollars. Give us local flexibility so we can use the dollars we have wisely."

Funding for pre-K programs is also in jeopardy. A partnership with Head Start may protect the NISD program.

"We've got 18 total full day pre-k programs which is extremely important for this district," Hutto said.

Redrawing of attendance lines and a proposal to combine grades 5 and 6 at one middle school campus and grades 7 and 8 at another could help with transportation costs and learning. Curriculum advisors say it could actually lead to a smarter student.

"What we want to introduce as we do this reconfiguration is a merit scholar track," said Ronnie Knox, an assistant superintendent.

A survey addressing all these concerns will soon be available to the community. Input is important as decision time is approaching.

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