Highland Park enrollment decrease effects

Highland Park enrollment decrease effects

AMARILLO, TX (KFDA) - Due to a district wide decrease in student enrollment, Highland Park is offering a voluntarily exit incentive plan to their staff.

HPISD is down 37 students from last year affecting the school's budgeting cost.

"The voluntary exit incentive plan is good for both sides. It's going to help us free up money and salaries because 82 percent of our budget is salaries," Superintendent Buddy Freeman said. "So the only way to reduce the budget and get to a balanced budget is to reduce salaries and so the voluntary exit incentive plan is going to help us accomplish that."

The plan can only be offered to employees with at least 19 years of working experience with the school district. So far, 37 employees are eligible for the plan. 29 employees have already asked to see the contract and have until March 21 to decide to take the plan.

One of the reasons for the loss of students comes down to students moving. Recent lay offs at Bell Helicopter caused families in the school district to move. Also one of the nearby housing bases have about 70 vacancies which also could effect enrollment.

One way the school is trying to bring in more students is by changing their routing transportation to accommodate transfer students.

"Currently almost 30 percent of our students are transfer students and so if people aren't going to move into the houses on the base then we need to recruit some more transfer students. So were trying to get the story out about how good a school district we have out here and if you want to come and be in a smaller school with a rural setting come on out we'd love to have you," Freeman said.

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