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BISD administration comes under attack for budget woes
BEAUMONT- By Jennifer Gordy
With protests continuing as students try to save their teachers' jobs in the Beaumont school district another special budget hearing is looming Thursday night.
Leroy Saleme, Former Assistant Superintendent of Finance for BISD says,"The fact is we are down millions of dollars and we can't explain it. We haven't had an audit for two years and we don't know what's there. So, how do we go out here and say we are going to lay off 300 people."
Saleme says things were different when he worked for the district, "It's not my money it's taxpayers money so I have to treat it as it's somebody elses money and care about it. Today, I seem to think they don't care whose money it is. It's taxpayer money. It doesn't come out of my pocket so now we're down ten million twenty million who knows."
Trustee Tom Neild says he's been trying to have that question answered for years, "I'm still waiting for a copy of the budget. Dr. Chargois says he's still working on it. That's okay just give it to us and tell us what areas are incomplete."
BISD critic Hubert Oxford the Fourth has combed through the current and proposed budgets that are posted on the BISD website and is shocked by what he found. Oxford says,"On row 41 they show general administration and the general administration was 6.2 million dollars. For next year it is 10.2 million dollars. The proposed budget actually increases administration costs four million dollars."
And the decrease to instruction or teachers is a whopping 20 million dollars. Neild says,"We went right to the heart and cut teachers and that's what the commissioner instructed us not to do."
But Saleme who is has been a conservator for the Texas Education Agency in other districts says the problem is much larger than balancing the budget.
Saleme says, "We have a problem with the administrators because we are looking for money because we didn't have adequate administrators to begin with or it's incompetence, one or the other."