More cuts are coming to the El Paso Independent School District. At a meeting Friday between district administrators and the media, the district said it's refining its enrollment numbers and learning there may be less students than initially projected.
At EPISD every student is worth $5,500 in state funding. EPISD has lost nearly 3,300 students in the past four years. That's more than $18 million in lost revenue. Administrators said they expect the loss of students to continue.
"We have gone back and looked at what we believe is going to be the actual number of enrollments and we become a little more conservative on projecting those numbers," said Associate Superintendent of Human Resources Robert Almanzan.
EPISD is losing students due to three factors: Fort Bliss didn't bring in the families the district expected it would, families are moving to cheaper areas with starter homes, such as Socorro and Canutillo, Mexican families feel safe enough to move back to Juarez.
Fewer students mean fewer teachers. Instead of 131 teaching positions being eliminated next year, the district announced Friday the number has grown to 172. This means many teachers will have to move to different campuses. The district is confident every single one of them will have a job next school year, because already 113 teachers have put in their resignation or retirement. The district usually has a natural attrition of 300 teachers per year.
Central office jobs will also be cut. Ten positions have been cut from curriculum and instruction, saving $600,000. ABC-7 counted nine other positions being consolidated into other jobs. The district may also transition to electronic ordering of supplies, and will consolidate all accounting positions, which would allow for further cuts. No word yet if this reorganization will mean layoffs.
"If we can find some role for a person in a district, then we will look an offer an alternative solution to an employee," Almanzan said.
The second budget draft is due in mid-May. That's when the district will have a better idea of what central office cuts are coming. The final budget, which will be presented to the Board of Managers for approval, is due in June.