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BISD teachers fear for their jobs after superintendent announces eliminating 300 positions
BEAUMONT-By: Leslie Rangel
An announcement late Friday afternoon by the Beaumont School Superintendent, just as the Memorial Day Weekend began, has teachers extremely concerned.
Dr. Timothy Chargois announced the district would be cutting three hundred positions, however, it's unclear whether that will be administrators or educators, or both.
Kathryn Hall was checking student grades Friday evening when she saw the email from Dr. Chargois informing district employees three hundred positions would be cut.
"I just kind of sat here of a second and read it a couple of times and I kind of sat here and I called my mom and said, 'oh my goodness, listen to this'" Hall says. She's a high school teacher at Ozen.
Hall was a lucky teacher to see the email, others heard about it through the news.
"I was watching TV Friday night after I got back from school, that was about 5 o' clock. My friend text me saying, are you going to have a job next year and I'm sitting here in my living room thinking the same thing," Glenda Baltutis, a Smith Middle School teacher said.
The letter doesn't specify who will go or who will stay, but 300 people will be gone June 12th
Why? Because the district doesn't have enough money to pay everyone on staff.
"To have it just kind of taken away because of the wrong doing of others makes it, a punch in the stomach," Hall says.
Representatives with the Beaumont Teacher's Association agree, they plan on showing their frustrations at this Thursday's 2014-2015 budget hearing.
"We all now El Paso appealed and they lost after spending about $8,000 and we're looking at spending $100,000 and there's a 50 percent chance we'll lose? That is 2 teacher's paychecks," Baltutis said, she also serves a an executive board member for BTA.
The teachers also brought up hefty salaries for administrators, for example, special assistant to the superintendent, Jessie Haynes is currently making more than one hundred thousand dollars. Teachers say, splitting her salary in half would save two teacher jobs.
"We're just all in shock because we just don't know what to think," Hall says.
It's not the only thing these teachers are worried about.
They say neighboring districts have already hired new teachers for the upcoming year, meaning it could be more difficult to find new jobs.
"If we knew this was coming, why are they waiting until the end of May?" Sebrina Dollar, Vice President of the Beaumont Teacher's Association says.
"It's frustrating! It's Russian roulette pretty much, you just come to work everyday, you pray for your job, do your best and think about the kids," Baltutis said.
A game of roulette these teachers say they're tired of playing.
Representatives from BTA say they will be present at the district's Thursday budget hearing for the upcoming school year.
They're asking any teachers and community to come and support the association.