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Gladewater ISD may unfreeze school salaries

By Christina Lane clane@etcnonline.com
March 2, 2012 at 11 p.m.


Preliminary figures show Gladewater ISD most likely will be able to unfreeze salaries and have a balanced budget in 2012-13, Superintendent J.P. Richardson said.

The school district froze salaries one year ago as it prepared for state budget cuts that slashed billions of dollars from public education in Texas. Despite contending with another $518,785 cuts in 2012-13, Richardson said the district is prepared for the reductions and expects to be able to unfreeze salaries. The school board has not finalized its 2012-13 budget.

"This is something we are very proud of," Richardson said. "The board has worked diligently on the budget."

The district will continue to monitor positions that become available and see if any can be eliminated through attrition, Richardson said. There are no planned reductions in the district's workforce, he said.

The expectation that salaries will be unfrozen is largely because of extensive planning the school board did a year ago, Richardson said. This past year, Gladewater ISD came up with a number of cost-saving measures, including reducing the number of local leave days from five days to two days - a move that saved about $168,000 - offering early resignation incentives to staff, freezing salaries and Richardson reducing his $131,250 salary by 5 percent.

"Our board was very aggressive last year in putting cost-saving measures in place to prepare for the two-year deficit the state hit us with," Richardson said.

Additionally, the district is expecting to add money to its fund balance at the end of the current fiscal year, he said.

In other business, the school board approved all administrator and principal contracts for the 2012-13 school year and called a May 12 election. Filing for the school board election runs through March 5. The board has two seats up for election, Place 6, occupied by Garth Cockerell, and Place 7, occupied by Kent Abernathy.

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