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      BISD to offer employee 'payout' plan to avoid job cuts

      Brownsville Independent School District Superintendent Brett Springston said Tuesday that the school district is currently facing a projected a $17 to $30 million to be lashed out of the district's half-billion dollar budget.

      He said this is due to the state budget cuts.

      However, instead of pink slips, he said, the district is accepting voluntarily resignations.

      "By doing this, we will put a little bit more in their pocket, and at the same time we're recuperating those funds that we would be spending if they were still a teacher in the classroom," Superintendent Brett Springston said.

      The BISD Board of Trustees approved the plan in a 4 to 3 vote Tuesday.

      Employees who opt-in will get a pay-out by the end of July.

      A maximum of 200 teachers, if they chose to participate, will get $10,000; up to 25 administrators will get $4,500; and 50 classified personnel employees will get $3,000.

      "If they were to receive $10,000 (for) 200 (teachers), then that's $2 million that we're going to be putting-out, Springston said. If they had an average salary of $60,000 a year, that's $12 million that we're going to be bringing back - minus the $2 million that we're putting out - it's a $10 million cushion that we get to work with."

      Springston said he doesn TMt know exactly how much the school district will save until employees come forth, but he hopes it will save the district about $30 million over the next two years.

      BISD employees that do accept the option, will be banned from working for the district for at least two years.

      Springston said taking this approach is positive for the community and will provide an important life lesson for students facing challenges.

      "It's an opportunity to teach our kids that at times in life, you have to cut back, or you have to take a different road, or overcome the obstacles that are set before you," Springston said.

      Springston said the incentives will be handed out on a first-come, first-serve basis.