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AISD school board crunches 2013 budget numbers

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TWC News: AISD school board crunches 2013 budget numbers
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Educators say it’s a tough challenge.

District officials are halfway through the process of creating a budget for the 2012-2013 fiscal year. Monday people from all sides of public education came to chime in on how they think Austin Independent School District’s money should be spent.

AISD's Board President Mark Williams said the district is facing higher enrollment and declining revenue.

"It is a tough challenge. How do you be fair to everybody but also reflect the market conditions that we deal with from a human capital position," he said.

Chavel Lopez is with the Southwest Public Workers Union. They represent non-teachers - employees from bus drivers to cafeteria workers.

"We feel that every labor organization here that represents employees and workers here in the Austin Independent School District should be sitting at the school board with the superintendent," he said.

Lopez said with low raises and the soaring cost of living, the district needs to pay more.

"We feel that the administrators, the professional workers earn a living wage, but you have the school workers, that we represent, treated as a second class work force, getting paid poverty wages," he said.

Though, the 2012-2013 budget proposes a 3 percent pay raise across the board.

"A lot of people will tell you that what we are paying for our classified staff is relatively market or above market, even when you consider all the benefits, even though it is lower than anybody would like it to be, but we are also limited when it comes to resources," Williams said.

The process to craft a budget is far from over. Final approval won't come until this summer, leaving tough decisions ahead.

To take a look at AISD's preliminary 2013 budget click here.

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