October 1, 2022

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Kingsville ISD is in millions of debt

Hard decisions will have to be made, but the superintendent promises that teachers won’t be fired or laid off.

KINGSVILLE, Texas — The Kingsville Independent School District is said to be in millions of dollars in debt and administrators are looking at ways to get out of that financial predicament. 

“Saw that the district was in a $4.5 million deficit so I was trying to find exactly what led to that and also what led to the decline in the academics as well,” Superintendent Dr. Cissy Reynolds-Perez said. 

Kingsville ISD received an academic rating of an F by the state in 2018, followed by a Q rating due to coding discrepancies in 2019. Then, in 2020, no schools in the state were rated. On top of all of that — the district has lost about 600 students over the past five years.

“I asked for TASBO, which is the Texas Association of School Business, I asked them to do a financial analysis and just get to the facts,” Reynolds-Perez said. “There has to be a trend that occurred. This just didn’t happen overnight.”

That analysis of the school district’s finance and operations was completed and presented to the school board and the community back during the school board workshop on Monday.

“All of the board members have been very supportive about the fact that the facts are there,” Reynolds-Perez said. “We need to do something. We do have some hard decisions to make.”

Dr. Reynolds-Perez has only been on the job for six months and now is looking at having to follow that financial report’s advice. There are a number of financial options laid out for the district to follow. 

Kingsville ISD consists of a high school, along with a middle school and an intermediate. Then, there are several elementary schools. One proposal is to close Memorial Middle School and move those 7th and 8th grade students to Gillett Intermediate and join the 6th graders there. The elementary schools would be Pre-K through 5th.

“Instead of a student like having three different stops before they get to high school, it’ll reduce those number of stops,” Reynolds-Perez said.

The district is going to hold a public hearing on the district’s finances coming up on March 18. 

The good news is that since this superintendent has come on board, she has been able to bring the district’s deficit down to $2.1 million. She said to wipe out that deficit, hard decisions will have to be made, but she promises that teachers won’t be fired or laid off over this.  

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