The nation's economic turmoil is claiming more jobs in the Borderland as officials with the Fabens Independent School District have been forced to eliminate jobs in order to cut the district's budget.
"It's very frustrating!" exclaims Velia Reyes. Her son, Josh Medina spent this year as one of the 92 full day Pre-K students at Fabens Elementary.
Starting next year, pre-kindergarten will only be half day at the school. Something district Superintendent, Poncho Garcia admits, many parents don't know yet. "The state only funds for only half a day of Pre-Kindergarten, so in essence, there's not money to be able to sustain a full day," he explains.
The district will now have 3 classes in the morning and 3 in the afternoon. Garcia says that will accommodate about 30 more students.
Reyes tells ABC-7 she's disappointed she had to find out about the changes through word of mouth. Now her concern is if the quality of education will be affected for Pre-K students next year. She says, "You can't cover...what you cover in all day, you can't do it in 3-4 hours."
Garcia says, "Of course, maybe we're going to have to make some adjustments."
One of those adjustments will be layoffs. "It's something that you don't look forward to doing, but it's a sign of the times." Garcia explains it's the first time he's had to lay someone off in his 8 years as the district's superintendent. "It's going to impact 5 individuals, at least. But to me 5 is too many but that's the tough decision we had to deal with."
Two of those layoffs will be teachers. The district is providing job resources for them.
A newsletter with preliminary details about next year's Pre-K program is scheduled to be sent out by the beginning of May.
It will include details about the district teaming up with Region 19 Head Start to provide a full day of preschool for some children.
Garcia says Region 19 has room for only about 64 students. Those students would go to Fabens Elementary half the day then continue the day at the district's old elementary school, run by Region 19.