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Layoffs, consolidation at one school system

Students in the Frankfort Independent School System will soon have eight fewer teachers. Superintendent Rich Crowe says education stimulus funds have run out and the time has come to make difficult decisions.

"The whole impetus behind the stimulus money was to keep people in jobs or to put more people in jobs and we did that. It's unfortunate, but that money has run out. We're not generating enough funds to be able to continue to keep people in those positions so we're going to have to make some cutbacks," says Crowe.

Four teachers from Second Street School and four from Frankfort High School will lose their jobs. Parents say they're disappointed, but understand.

"We all know that in these times, budget cuts to education are having a profound impact upon finding and maintaining staffs and teachers and so it's just a matter that this is reflective of the economy and society we're living in," says Roosevelt Shelton, father of a Frankfort High School student.

Another part of this cost-cutting plan is to do away with the Wilkinson Street alternative school. Instead, those students will be moved to their own wing of Frankfort High School. The superintendent says it's a move that will benefit both the school system and the students.

"They will have the opportunity to perhaps go out for band, for art, for music. They'll have access to a bigger library. It will open up greater opportunities for them," says Crowe.

Crowe says between consolidating Wilkinson Street School and cutting the teachers, the school system will save about $340,000 a year. On the brighter side, Crowe says a federal grant will subsidize laptops for all middle and high school students next year.

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