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      Santa Rosa ISD budget woes

      Beautiful weather contrasts gloom inside Santa Rosa ISD

      The Santa Rosa Independent Sshool District is facing some big cuts after voters denied a tax hike that would have helped the schools.

      Just days ago, the San Benito Consolidated Independent School District was forced to cut corners after learning they are nearly $1 million dollars in the hole.

      But The Santa Rosa ISD has learned it is short by $800,000. Administrators blame voters that did not pass a $0.13 tax hike.

      Administrators that means field trips and some school events are out the door. But even that may not be enough to meet the budget shortfall, so some staff will likely have to go too.

      As the Santa Rosa High School band practiced outside the school Friday, Superintendent Heriberto Villarreal sat inside his office, trying to crunch numbers on a budget shortfall that will affect all the schools in the district.

      "I'm hoping that it does not go into the cutting of teachers," Villarreal said.

      He says the shortfall started with a drop in attendance, which equals less money coming in from the state. It continued when voters said not to a tax hike that would have helped.

      Now, he's got to search for $800,000 to cut.

      "Things like cut out some field trips, cut out things that are not really required things like that," he explained.

      Right now, the schools have about 1,100 students and 187 staff. Cutting back on field trips alone just won't be enough.

      "I need to look at all areas and all facets of operations of the school and see where I can possibly cut in staff that's going to have the least impact on students," said Villarreal.

      The cuts will come in the next few weeks and any staff that has to go won't be able to stay until the end of the semester.

      Villarreal says trying to find the best place to cut back is not easy, but he wants parents to know the students' best interest and education will be kept in mind.

      "We're going to do everything we can to make sure we do not interrupt the day to day operations of their students in school," he said.

      Superintendent Villarreal tells us he is concerned about school years to come as well and he's hoping the state legislature will look at state funding and the formulas that determine how much public schools get in funding.