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Local teachers union: list already compiled of teachers to be cut even before school board voted
BEAUMONT - By Justin Hinton, KFDM News
The Beaumont school board voted 4-1 to declare financial exigency resulting in a reduction of force.
The decision came after 2 hours of discussion on the district's financial status and recommended cuts to make up the $25 million deficit.
Teachers and community members packed the administration room carrying signs and making outbursts when trustees commented on the district's status.
Superintendent Dr. Timothy Chargois said he plans to meet with principals as early as tomorrow to start going over the criteria for cutting employees, a process that was supposed to begin after the board voted to declare financial exigency.
KFDM News has learned, however, plans have already been made to compile a list at at least one high school.
Irene Lopez, a representative with the Texas Federation of American Teachers, said she was made aware of a direct conversation with the principal of West Brook High School and an employee.
"I talked with one of my members who had already been brought in on Tuesday to speak with the principal of his school about being on the list of the people that are going to be reduced, so the fact that Dr. Chargois said that this process is going to begin tomorrow, that they're going to meet with the principals tomorrow is not true," said Lopez.
Lopez said she had spoken with teachers at Central Medical Magnet and Ozen high schools and heard similar stories.
On Tuesday, KFDM News asked both Chargois and Board President Gwen Ambres if teachers were being notified they would not return to school next year, and they both said no because the board had not even voted on whether to declare a reduction in force.
"No teachers are being told that because, again, I don't know what the board is going to decide," said Chargois on Tuesday. "One thing I've been clear on with staff is that I don't make decisions for the board. I make recommendations and then we'll see what the board decides to do."
"I'm not familiar with that," Ambres said Tuesday afternoon. "There is a lot of speculation out there. The board hasn't even given the superintendent the authority to go forward with the reduction of force."