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EPISD meets to discuss possible multimillion-dollar budget shortfall

By: Joshua Zuber
EL PASO, Texas -- A multimillion-dollar deficit this year results in budget cuts in the El Paso Independent School District, and in the next fiscal year, the school district is looking at a shortfall of nearly $12 million.

KFOX14 previously reported that EPISD faced a $9 million budget shortfall as the district tried to figure out how to save money due to a drop in enrollment.

The deficit was increased to about $11.8 million for the 2014 to 2015 fiscal year.

The EPISD board of managers held a special meeting Tuesday night, and they said this was the first they heard of the numbers for the budget.

The estimated shortfall is preliminary and could change, and the biggest issue is the cost of health care increasing.

"We've also got some significant increases in cost. Not the least of which is health care. Last year we had an increase of $6.5 million. The preliminary budget was at $6.5 million. We are hearing estimations as much as $10 or $12 million maybe the increase. And we probably won't know until July, which is also a problem, said Dee Margo, president of the EPISD board of mangers.

When it comes to district cuts to find more money, raising property taxes is a though, but Margo said he didnt like that idea so far given how many lawsuits are pending against the central appraisal district.

Another idea listed was Additional budget cuts, which wasnt explicitly pointed out.

A community meeting will be held to get the publics input on what should happen with the budget, but the date hasnt been announced.

The budget must be passed by June 30.