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      School district cuts jobs due to low enrollment rate

      Rio Hondo Superintendent Ismael Garcia

      Rio Hondo Independent School District is being obligated to lay off 23 of their employees, after a decrease in student enrollment.

      In the past 3 years the district has loss over 200 students, which totals a loss of over $2 million in revenue.

      Ismael Garcia, Rio Hondo ISD Superintendent, says letting employees go was not their first option.

      First the school district closed all open positions and later offered early resignation incentive.

      However, Garcia said that wasn't enough to save everyone's job.

      These two plans did decrease the amount of employees that had to be laid off from over 40 employees to 23.

      "It TMs been very difficult because every individual that I bring here, every individual that gets affected I know is a member of the community, has a family and it TMs been hard," Garcia said.

      The staff members that are being let go are those at-will employed like paraprofessionals, secretaries and clerks.

      Since last August, they learned they couldn't pay for over 300 school employees in their district due to the decrease in student enrollment.

      Superintendent Garcia told Action 4 they took drastic measures to avoid the cuts.

      "It TMs been very difficult because every individual that I bring here, every individual that gets affected I know is a member of our community, has a family and so it TMs been hard," Garcia said.

      This included closing all open positions and an early resignation incentive.

      But it still wasn't enough to leave to save everyone's job.

      Garcia told Action 4 that the decision of who to cut came down to three factors: current assignments, their duties and time working in the district.

      He said that the district will help them during the job search.

      Garcia said the biggest decline in enrollment was at the middle school level, because many of these students either transferred to charter schools or parents simply relocated.

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