CCISD Loses Millions in Federal Aid Funding - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |

COPPERAS COVE

CCISD Loses Millions in Federal Aid Funding

COPPERAS COVE, TX (KXXV) -

The Copperas Cove Independent School District will face a multi-million dollar loss in funding after they failed to qualify for certain federal financial aid.

The changes aren't expected to take affect until next fall, but the district will lose nearly 16 percent of the overall budget by not qualifying for what is known as Heavy Impact Aid.

"Impact aid is not funded partially," CCISD superintendent Dr. Joe Burns said. "You're either in or you're out."

To be eligible for the federal funds, 35% of the students served must meet specific military-related criteria. This year, when CCISD conducted its annual impact aid survey, they fell just short of the percentage at 34.08% and that cost them nearly $12 million.

"We sent out information to our parents and had a public hearing," CCISD spokeswoman Olga Pena said. "Our board of trustees made these decisions based on recommendations from our superintendent and executive team on how to reduce expenditures and still continue to do what we do best - educate our kiddos."

One of the biggest ways the district is looking to save money is by reducing the current day-long pre-kindergarten program and making it only a half-day program.

"It's an expensive program," Pena said.  "The way it is staffed and everything it is just an expensive program. One of our elementary schools is going to go from having kindergarten through fifth grade to having just pre-kindergarten classes. That's the major change."

In addition to the pre-k cuts, district leaders have approved reducing operational costs by 5%district-wide and reducing the number of staff by around 40 full-time employees.

"This is a very challenging time for CCISD," Burns said. "We regret that we're at this point, however, we don't have any say over that."

The district hopes to recoup some of that money through several revenue-based programs they're currently working on, and despite the loss of the much-needed federal aid, school officials are still confident that they'll be able to provide students with the best education possible.

"Our number one focus is to continue to educate children the way we do here at CCISD in an excellent way and to also develop our exemplary staff that is so important in classrooms every day," Pena said.

Funding for heavy impact aid is determined on a year-by-year basis, so CCISD is eligible to reapply for federal financial aid after this coming year.

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