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Sep 19, 2008

Comments

Denise

I, the parent of a dedicated DISD athlete, believe that any coach who does not teach in the classroom or teach physical education classes during the regular school day should be in the first wave of RIFs. I also believe that Supt. Hinojosa and other top administrators should take significant pay cuts in solidarity with teachers and the district. Finally, I wonder how a two-year,over 2 million dollar audit missed this shortfall and if we, parents/taxpayers are paying the bill for that audit?

Robert

The $54 million (??) shortfall, turned into an $84 million gaff in less than a week of this story evolving.

In reality if the $84 million defecit is the reported number, then the actual correct amount is double or $168 million. Why? Because in addition, to making the cuts to make up the $84 million gap, the administrators will have to replenish the $84 million looted from the reserve fund. If the reserve fund is not replenished, then the plant, facilities, and buildings will deteriorate and more money wasted.

whyme

Speaking of the learning centers: the majority of elementary schools in Dallas already have many of the learning center extras: fine arts instructors, after school programs, small class sizes, counselors, etc. The centers are no longer that unique. Some centers may still have more adminisrators than their student population calls for and that can be an area to cut. Also, center teachers are paid extra because they teach an additional 45 minutes per day and that might
be a place to cut. However, most of the extras that are cut from centers should be in all fairness cut from non-learning centers. If that is done the savings will be even more substantial. Finally, I dispute the idea that learning centers have historically scored no better than their counterparts. They have, and the folks in R&E have years of data to prove it.

Last thought: yes the teachers will keep coming to school and working until they are told not to, and your kids will be fine, but what about the kids whose parents have lost their jobs through no fault of their own?

Lisa

Were they handing out free blinders at the meeting? I wholeheartedly disagree. An RIF does most certainly affect classrooms and our kids. Yes, yours too. While this situation does not warrant mass hysteria, neither will it right itself with a shrug of the shoulders and a don’t-rock-the-boat sensibility. We have choices and the community can and should have a say in these decisions. The Board (sans the disturbingly chipper Jack Lowe) should continue to hold Michael Hinojosa’s team to the fire to provide clear answers to the questions they didn’t get in last Friday’s meeting. It’s not a matter of counting paperclips, a very condescending remark from a man so troubled he gave up a whole 5% of his salary. This is a wonderful opportunity to scrape down the arteries of Ross Avenue payroll, consulting and travel expenses. If the accounting wonks and Human Development don’t submit a clear picture of exactly what cuts are being made at the top, the Board could get up and walk out. It’ll cost another million to wait another week, but we don’t really know that for sure, do we? Just because they said it doesn't mean it's accurate or truthful. When Michael works this problem that happened on his watch ( again) for 5% of his salary, cuts all travel/entertainment, and bloated Athletic Director salaries, we can talk about making classroom ratios larger by firing teachers. What the District is proposing is one size fits all teacher cuts, but not for executives. Schools are unique and have individual strengths and needs. Across the board teacher lay-offs in CORE classes by formulaic may be more convenient, but it is ill-advised.

Joy Brock

You're right--the bureaucracy at DISD is massive. The organizational chart is 250 pages (can be found on the DMN's DISD blog). Don't you think that would be a place to start "riffin"--not CORE teachers.

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