HISD to cut police force, other staff amid massive budget cuts

HOUSTON – Dozens of people including parents, faculty, and staff packed Thursday's HISD board meeting as trustees grapple with impending budget cuts to deal with a multimillion dollar budget shortfall.

One of the many areas with jobs on the line are the officers who patrol campuses.

An HISD spokesperson tells Channel 2 possible scenarios are being discussed but with the budget problem -- no job is safe.

The news is unsettling to parents.

"Clearly we need safety on our campuses," Tonya Knauth, a mother with two children in HISD schools, said. "There are priorities and that's one of them."

Cheryl McCosh, who has three students in HISD, agrees.

"The safety and security of our students is paramount," McCosh said. "If we can't have safe schools, if the students can't feel safe then how can they learn and how can they learn to love learning?"

More than 200 officers patrol HISD's campuses. It's too early to say how many officers will be cut -- but the possibilities are troubling for parents and staff alike.

"Our concern is even the high schools, middle schools, when there are fights break out," Hector Mirales, the president of the union that represents the majority of the support staff on HISD's campuses, said. "If they're short-staffed on officers at what expense are we going to show for the children in the schools?"

An HISD spokesperson also tells Channel 2 that at this point, there are no final proposals.

They are only discussing possible scenarios with no final numbers. Nothing has been approved yet, so it would be inaccurate and inappropriate to provide a number at this time.

On Thursday, the school board decided to table the discussion on budget cuts to next month's meeting.

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