Shorter School Year. Teacher Furloughs. That Won't Shrink DISD's Budget By $280 Million.

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The DISD super is doing his best to prepare teachers, parents and students for the very worst-case scenario.
While the Plano Independent School District is already preparing for a worst-case scenario and eliminating top-tier administrative positions, the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees is not scheduled to address the state's $25-billion shortfall at its meeting on Thursday -- save for that resolution to which we directed your attention yesterday. Jon Dahlander, the district's spokesman, tells Unfair Park today that's not likely to happen till its next board briefing, scheduled for February 10. At that point, he says, the board will be brought up to speed on conversations presently taking place "internally" at DISD HQ on Ross Avenue.

Dahlander reiterates what Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has said publicly in recent days: The budget bill presently in the State House could wind up costing Texas ISDs close to $10 billion and 100,000 jobs. DISD, says Dahlander, could lose as much as $260 million -- more than four times the 2008 budget shortfall of $64 million, which led to hundreds of layoffs.

We hope to speak with the super before week's end. Dahlander says he's taking all offers to speak to administrators, teachers, parents, students and media "in order to get ahead of this." Hence, says Dahlander, that memo sent to DISD employees last week -- the one in which Hinojosa said things were "grim." How grim?

There are several options on the table, says Dahlander, chief among them cutting back the school year -- from 180 to 175. He also says the district will look into using furlough days the same way the city has to reduce its budget gap. Both could lead to "significant savings," he says, but won't come close to filling the hole. He says the district's also looking at how to raise taxes without first having to ask the voters.

Dahlander adds that Hinojosa and the other superintendents across Texas are asking parents to call lawmakers and beg them to look for cuts elsewhere. More significant: They want the Lege to tap into the state's $9-billion rainy day fund -- which GOP lawmakers insist is off-limits.

"If this isn't a rainy day," says Dahlander, "what is?"
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53 comments
Fiscal Sense
Fiscal Sense

Here's a wish list:

1. Eliminate property tax exemption for country clubs....2. Hiring freeze at admin level3. Collapse and consolidate at least one admin per division4. Sell all of the remaining pre-k seats (sorry)5. Increase health care deductibles by 15%6. 1 year moratorium on hiring of consultants7. Actively challenge agriculture exemptions for hobby farms, luxury ranch houses and pseudo working farms/ranches.8. Dismiss all governmental relations personnel and incorporate those tasks to superintendent and existing operational employees9. Create master teaching chairs with charitable giving / endowment dollars. Best of the best.

Numbers 1 and 7 eliminate the shortfall overnight.

Pingitagain
Pingitagain

What I don't get is why everyone is missing the obvious solution to the financial crisis of funding for schools? We collect taxes from property owners to pay for DISD (and other ISDs) and thousands of kids going to school live in apartments. Apartment dwellers don't pay a penny of property taxes, yet their kids go to school FREE of charge. I own property and have no kids - I have paid thousands of dollars to DISD and it really burns me up. Why do I get penalized for others childrens education?!! We need a full blown restructuring of the way money is collected for schools. Why don't we charge the parents at the door for each kid we teach. That way all the illegals have to pay for their own way, instead of them taxing the existing system while getting FREE schooling and free lunches, free air conditioning, etc????? WHY? It's so obvious to me - where else can you go and not have to pay your own way? It's so obvious I don't understand why no one else will come forward with a new process of paying for school. I took out loans to go to college so parents of kids should bear the burden of their own kids education.

Nunya
Nunya

Surely you do know that real estate taxes are figured into the rent, right? Although it may not be "thousands of dollars," everyone who lives here, pays.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I'm sure you'd feel less angry if the money you are forced to hand over to DISD was at least spent wisely.

If taxpayers are forced to give money to DISD, regardless of how many times it has proven to be greedy, corrupt, irresponsible, and incompetent, at least someone should be ensuring that the money isn't all blown on a few top administrators.

I predict that the public school system is going to come crashing down soon. It cannot continue to take taxes and give nothing in return.

It's like the USSR all over again.We need a major revolt to scrap this unfair, ineffective, wasteful system.

Kevin
Kevin

How can we justify the Assistant Superintendent of Plano ISD salary of $210K per year?

trashtalk
trashtalk

No more paying more than other districts. Probably no more bribes to go to bad schools because the money is gone.Haven't you figured out the plan: Teach for America at the bottom in 2-year cycles so costs are fixed.Administrative bloat at the top won't be touched.

This is Wendy Koop's plan to control costs when school boards buy into her propaganda and refuse to do the hard work of dismantling the years of crud known as central administration.

Teaching as a profession is an old fashioned idea.

trashtalk
trashtalk

It appears the $280 million is a Hinojosa delusion or threat or lie.

Yeah, the Republicans are screwing Texas education, but some of the lost funds shouldn't impact teachers unless Hinojosa is just looking to do them in. Gone are state grants for teacher merit pay (so what--never clear who got what or why), advanced placement stipends, and a big hunk of compensatory education funds for tutoring TAKS. The story with that is tmany districts were using private vendors, so that again may be a red herring in terms of jobs.

Much of the state stipends for reconstituting high schools will be gone. Of course, if Hinojosa would quit outsourcing the heavy lifting he is supposed to do, there would be no need for the state to continually reward loser schools by providing funds to redo them.What does Micheaux do all day for almost $300K or Leslie Williams for $200K? These geniuses are supposed to know the education business, so these grants are paying consultants to do the jobs of central administrators.A hit of 10% in state foundation funds is huge, but that more like $100M. The rest were extra state grants. Unfortunately, prek is included. Hinojosa will use this Republican-induced crisis to jack up property taxes which will stay jacked up. A huge part of this deficit is the result of the state giving back a hunk of property tax money which was never covered by other fees. The other loss is stimulus money which was used to lie about the deficit last year. Another billion dollar loss is due to Perry refusing to take stimulus education money this year on the guarantee he use it in addition to state money.In total, the real hit is in state foundation funds, which could result in a 10-15% cut of the basic budget, not the figure Hinojosa is using to cut teachers. Let him cover the first $25million with arnie and gang. No one will shed a tear.

This is a huge hole dug by the same administration that has been lying about this impending doom for three years.

HInojosa has allowed his cronies and Pcard thieves to steal that much along with bogus construction deals. Put all this in context, and it's really around a 10% cut which could be financed out of everyone making over $100K a year getting huge salary cuts or fired, whichever is convenient. Instead, Hinojosa will rip it out of the folks at the bottom.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

I do not believe the $280M is a lie. Since June of 2010 my back-of-the-napkin estimate of the deficit was $265M and folks laughed. Hinojosa said the deficit would be no more than $50M; then last month it was $150M; then last week $200M; now $280M. Some of the Trustees I spoke with last year, though, candidly admitted the $260M number might not be too far off the mark. It's too early for an ineffective "I told you so" but the crisis is very real. Now, Michael Hinojosa may be using this as a threat to the teachers - that wouldn't surprise most folks who follow the issues - but the real solutions are going to involve closing low enrollment schools; realigning the vertical learning centers back into the more logical feeder patterns; increasing the student to teacher ratio; shortening the school year; and doing away with any vendor contract that cannot be handled internally. The administration needs to be reduced by 15% AND they need to pull their own weight. They've forgotten what "work" really is.

trashtalk
trashtalk

MacNaughton-You don' have the institutional memory to know the org chart in terms of these folks' history. They made up jobs for their kinfolk, friends, and political buddies. It's makework to reward their friends and family. Half these positions can go and the other half need to take at least a 25% paycut.

Yes, the crisis is real, but what the state is actually refusing to fund is very different than what Hinojosa is pretending. Because of the makeup of the board, the public will be shut out of the real guts of the numbers and the discussion. The sitting board is too stupid to really question anything the administration says.

Find someone with three decades experience with the names on the org chart, and you will find jobs that are smoke and mirrors and all the last names of previous asst superintendents, because their jobs were handed to their children as if they were in some union from another century. It's a family and crony business, otherwise Lozano Rodriquez would never have been up for even an interview. You are still bamboozled by their official roles. Classroom teachers know what they actually do, or rather what the pretense is.

And there is no way around class sizes increasing dramatically, both in elementary and secondary.

The only question is where were all these panic-stricken teachers in November? Did you REALLLY believe Perry when he used he last stimulus money, not as add-on, but to stop the bleeding?Now the entire state will take a giant step backwards over the retaliation of the tea party. Put 100,000 teachers out in the street when there are no jobs and watch the economy tank a little more.

Civilized people would find other ways.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

I have worked with several wannabe Charter folks. If you go to one of the established charter umbrellas (e.g. DCCCD) they will tell you money isn't the problem but buildings are. Well, guess who needs to close some buildings. Guess who is building 12 new schools, 4 of which are replacements and 8 of which are to be mothballed until operational and staffing monies are found.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Charters are the only part of this slaughter that makes no sense. They are going to take the same cuts in foundation money and grants as the ISDs, but they already had no facilities funding, so they are going to feel some real pain.

Maybe Wendy will give them a special cut rate on TFA for the low price of $24K a year while she becomes a millionaire selling the bs that having someone with no experience in a profession is a good thing.

In every city where TFA has put up a beach head, senior teachers were ripped and replaced by TFA while central administration took no hits. Look for a redux here.

And if the board needs 5 votes to request information from the toad who is constantly insubordinate, it will take no more than that to either change the policy or fire his sorry excuse of a self. It would be easier to change the policy immediately and then start demanding information. He will refuse. Then fire him.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

I am aware of the nepotism and cronyism...it was one of the reasons I became so deeply involved back in May of 2009; then helped form the GPAC Dallas Friends of Public Education in September of 2009; and pushed so hard for a transparency policy (passed in January 2010 but still lacking reporting from DISD).

Here is the way it is supposed to work: The Trustees hold the Administration accountable and the Public holds the Trustees accountable as information flows freely up from the Administration to the Public and Trustees.

But, of course, NO information flows freely from the Administration to ANYBODY.

Some Trustees are routinely treated with something akin to disdain by "Mandate Mike" Hinojosa. Trustee Flores just reminded the other Trustees at the last board meeting that they need a friggin' public five vote majority to ask for any report from the administration if that information might already be already available but not compiled, organized or explained.

So the Trustees, much like the public, have to wend their way through a stonewalling administration to even FIND the information they need, much less to have an intelligent public discussion. Yes, the public will be shut out of the budget discussion, but, as things are now going, so will the Trustees.

Watch as Charters and TFA to come riding to the "rescue".

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

trashtalk, you are never, ever wrong!

I completely agree that Hinojosa on the news is a publicity stunt to either get taxes raised or people panicked so the leg will keep the ed money gravy train rolling.

Instead of firing anyone--even the ridiculous academic coaches--cap all non-campus salaries at 100K. Cap the supe at double that.

A huge part of the problem in DISD is who really is behind the overspending on "top executives": the school board members.

We must get rid of the current school board members who voted for the raises in Dec and the building of schools that can't be staffed (built so construction buddies could tap the taxpayers).

Our school board--our own fellow citizens--are doing this to the rest of us.

Bill Holston
Bill Holston

what are current student teacher ratios? We really shouldn't monkey with student teacher ratios. That really scares most teachers I know. I think the state mandate is 22:1 for k-3, which really is the limit of what it should be.There is consideration of cutting state funding for pre k:

http://www.texasobserver.org/c...

This is very short sighted. Yes, we have a crises, but it's very short sighted to cut programs designed to help kids enter school prepared to excel.

Seems like there is plenty of room to cut costs at the Top.

Abuckley1970
Abuckley1970

So many issues at play but perhaps when school boards saw the need for more schools because there were more kids, they would've tightened their purse strings on unnecessary expenditures and thought twice before spending a penny. isn't that what the rest of us do when times are tough and money is tight? Ah, logic...but wait...there's more.

Perhaps if parents would stop suing school districts because their baby precious can't make the grade and get into TAG classes, it would help. But no...they lower the standards...again...so baby precious can feel as special as every other kid in the school. Our standards have dropped so far that "above average students" are now average at best. Talk with some freshman at any local university/college and they'll tell you about their struggles - students accustomed to getting A's and B's scraping by with low C's to their surprise.

Adding to those woes are the other lawsuits by parents against schools over disciplinary actions taken against their mean, disruptive, disrespectful hellions..sorry...children...(who aren't receiving discipline at home), Yes, every year tax dollars go towards legal representation and court costs because somewhere along the way some judges set that precedence and made it "acceptable" to sue schools over stupid sh*t.

Now that I'm off my soapbox, the economic variables in play consists of a relatively high increase in school age children over the past decade, an unstable economy and rental properties on the rise (few property/school taxes), and babyboomers claiming homestead exemptions from property taxes. We've got more kids causing a need for more schools with less funding sources. Let's see...an increase in population + unstable economy + a dispproportionate intake of property/school taxes to population increase = economic shortfall for education. I would hate to be the one to try and find the solution to a situation that has taken years to evolve to this point.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Your argument concerning the causes of the shortfall don't align with history.

The baby boomers were given almost a free tuition ride in this state. There were major recessions and homeowner's exemptions back then also. Universities didn't have million dollar presidents and too many administrators.But we can't blame the current economic fiasco on too many children when the baby boomers were the largest generation and were treated royally by their Depression era parents and grandparents.Now they are willing to rip grant money away from this generation while increasing tuition to the point most kids won't be able to finish.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

In 2008, DISD spent millions of your tax dollars to remodel the historical O.M. Roberts Elementary. Now they want to spend another $22 million to demolish homes and the school to rebuild a new school, all the while destroying a neighborhood to put in parking lots in-between homes! A Neighborhood consists of Homes not Parking lots!

There IS another solution an alternate plan was presented to DISD but, so far DISD refuses to consider it! Read the rest of the story here: http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

DISD's current plan for O.M. Roberts is wasting our tax dollars! Again!! It must not continue!

Our children deserve a better education! ~ Our teachers deserve better compensation! ~ Our schools and neighborhoods deserve consideration for preservation not destruction!

Please help be a part of the solution by contacting your elected DISD Board Member at 972-925-3700. Tell them you want their focus on improving the quality of education for our students and working on increasing the compensation for our teachers, NOT on land development.

Thank you

Learn more at www.StopDISD.org

Click on the link below to view Satire Video on DISD's Land Grab

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

RS1963
RS1963

I keep wondering the answer to Dahlander's question too! So if cutting school funding, college scholarships, pre-K, medical services for the poor, and on and on don't mean dipping into the rainy day fund, then what does?

Only if some of Perry's ("I hate government bailout unless it bails ME out") technology companies go under do we use that money?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

A great step would be to limit the salaries of non-campus employees.We are, after all, public servants who are paid by taxpayers.I certainly didn't go into education to make a lot of money and I don't. Many teachers, however, leave the classroom to do noncampus jobs bc they pay more money.

Can the state limit/direct/determine expenditures of administrators?

It doesn't seem right for a superintendent of a failing school district, plus multiple other administrators in the same district, to make over 3 times what teachers make. In the case of the super, he makes at least 6 times what teachers make. And the district is a mess.

No one holds him accountable. Certainly not the school board members. They spend our money freely.

I know I post this ad nauseum (as do a few others), but Hinojosa and the school board knew these cuts were coming when they gave an existing administrator a $32,000 raise in December. And I don't thing her raise was the only one given out. As a taxpayer, if the state will not limit what administrators give to each other and give to needless consultants, I WANT the budgets cut. Too many taxpayers are living month-to-month while public school adminstrators--who don't even interact with children--live like royalty.

I will be calling my representatives to urge them to cut any money that goes to vendors, consultants, builders, AND ADMINISTRATORS.

Cuts from Durant, Hinojosa, Claudia Rodriguez, Arnie Viramontes, and dozens of others could fund important pre K classes. If these people can't live off $100K, let them go offer their "skills" in the private sector.

Steve
Steve

RW, what is your take on Eliminating 12th Grade?

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

When we first mentioned Linus Wright's proposal a few weeks back, I thought long and hard about that -- by which I mean, I gave it 12 seconds' worth of consideration before writing about an old photo of Dallas for sale on eBay, more than likely. That said, my senior year at TJ was incredibly important for me -- and not just the protracted lunches at Mr. Gatti's on Walnut Hill and Marsh. It's when I became a journalist (or "journalist"), went back to swim team after an ill-fated junior year spent on the JV cheerleading squad because of a girl who ditched TJ for Hockaday, got involved in student government, took several math and language classes that helped me place out of freshman courses at UT (thus allowing me more time to work on the paper) and figured out how to take those final baby steps before entering The Real World ... or at least the one 200 miles to the south of my folks' house. So, yeah, I dug it. Found it relevant and necessary. And you?

LaceyB
LaceyB

Jeez, popular. Make us all look bad, will ya?

Senior year was all about creation. I wasn't really happy with class choices, so I created my own with my favorite teacher of all time, Mr. Gaydos (rest in peace, dude!). We studied foreign film, looked at it on a technical level, and started screenwriting again (after a 3 year hiatus). We met like twice a week, like a college class. I also read crazy books for an independent lit class. Everything from The Alchemist to the Marquis de Sade. I created/headed-up extra-curricular clubs, participated, held a job, and was even on "Oprah" (buried in history somewhere).

It was all the business of getting into college. And I did--UT, out of state. All choices were (all successful, as well). Because, if you're gonna do it, go BIG or go home.

Necessity? Nah. I'd overachieved in the other 3 years. But, the last year shouldn't be about cramming all of your classes in. It should be about trying out new things.

trashtalk
trashtalk

All this talk of getting rid of senior year was started by L Wright who apparently hasn't read a paper or piece of research for 20 years. Tuition at state universities is 5x to 6x what it was when his brain worked. Junior and senior year can be used to cut major expenses for college or to prepare to handle even junior college work.Linus and many others are proposing we adopt a European system of high school where kids are tracked out of the university early.Since when do we want the same stalled economy and class divide as Europe?

Even if students elect a vocational track, it no longer looks like it did 20 years and they still need to be highly literate in math, science, and reading.

It is extremely strange that the taxpayers of this state supported low, almost nonexistent tuition for every jerkoff Republican now willing to throw this generation under the bus. The last Republican-created crisis is when Perry decided to "deregulate" tuition. Now they are trying to make sure only the rich have any education at all...a nice little headstart program for their own kids.Is there a recall on the governor's job?

2145551212
2145551212

• Minimum wage has increased from $3.80 in 1990 to $8.25 in 2010.

• State support for UT in that time -- adjusted for inflation -- has dropped 1%.

• At the same time, UT Austin’s core budget has grown 2.6 percent annually from 1990 to the present when adjusted for inflation.

• UT Austin’s average annual increases in tuition and fees since tuition deregulation in 2003 have actually been lower than they were in the 13 previous years (1990-2003).

• Since tuition deregulation in 2003, the four-year compound annual increase for students from families earning less than $40,000 per year has been 0 percent; for families earning $40,000-60,000, it has been 3.0 percent; and for families earning $60,000-80,000, it has been 5.7 percent.

• 70 percent of the university's budget goes to labor. They feel they need to "attract and retain the best faculty" to accomplish their goals.

• Without tuition increases, UT Austin would have required $115 million in additional recurring state general revenue from 2003-04 to 2007-08.

http://texasexes.org/alcalde/f...

Seems pretty clear the driving force behind the tuition increase is the university. They are spending 4X more ($251M) than they were twenty years ago. That's a 400% increase.

Apparently much of that is going to pay salary and benefits. How much would they be spending if the state opened its pocketbooks? The retirement plan for the University of California system currently faces a $21.6 billion shortfall.

In California, tuition has gone up 30% in the last two years and nearly tripled since 2002. Yet Governor Brown -- who is not a member of the Tea Party -- is proposing to cut state support for the Cal system by $500 million the next fiscal year.

For the first time, tuition will account for more of Cal's operating budget than state funding. In-state California tuition will be about $100 less per academic year than in Texas. But they charge out-of-state students nearly $50K a year.

Texas and California aren't the only states raising tuition and cutting state funding either. They just happen to be the two largest state economies -- that ought to tell you there is a big problem out there that has nothing to do with politicians not wanting to give people that don't look like them a fair shake.

Frankly, your slanted view represents a racist way of looking at things.

trashtalk
trashtalk

214555etc, whatever

Perry and all his little Republican allies paid minimal tuition at A&M or any other state university when he was in undergraduate school. Tuition and fees were less than $100 a semester. Even in real dollars, Texas had one of the lowest rates of tuition in the nation.

Now we get to "deregulation" of tuition, just like deregulation of the banking industry, which means the rich are about to get much richer and the middle and lower class get screwed.The state subsidized the degrees of all these tea party idiots and ideologues. Minimum wage and tuition were aligned so that a kid could easily line up the money to attend college.Yeah, the state legislature is funding UT, but the middle class is now told it's not the problem of the state to subsidize their education the way their grandfathers were privileged. Now they can take out $40K or more in loans because our legislature and Perry have decided they don't want to tax all of us to give these kids a chance.

These are the FACTS. Name one of the legislative loonies with a degree and let's tally up tuition when they attended school and compare it with minimum wage at the same time.A nickel on a gallon of gas would open up college at the same real dollars it was handed to Perry and all his buddies.

Is the refusal a way to push out the middle and lower classes, or do the changed state demographics mark a refusal to pave the way for this generation?Meanwhile, the tech fund is used as a slush fund for his friends. His friends have already received their education.

As far as what the last legislature gave Texas universities, this budget takes it back. The permanent damage has already been done with deregulating tuition. As Flo Shapiro what she paid in tuition versus what she is asking kids to pay now. She sure took advantage of low tuition for herself, didn't she? Along with the rest of the Republican loonies, the citizens of this state made sure they had access. They are lining up to destroy the chances they were given for a sound bite.

2145551212
2145551212

It's extremely strange that you see things that way considering we are paying dramatically more than we did in the past.

The University of Texas' operating budget has "grown dramatically from $77.6 million in 1990 to $160.5 million in 2000 and to $329 million in FY 2010."

For fiscal year 2010, Budgeted State Appropriations increased by 10.8% or $211 million as a result of appropriations made by the 81st Legislature.

Overall growth in Instruction expenses is primarily associated with new faculty and staff positions required to sustain services for increases in enrollment and patient levels along with merit salary increases awarded at some U. T. institutions.

Every year, the System’s nine academic campuses educate one-third of Texas’ college students and its six health-related campuses educate three-quarters of Texas’ health professional students.

www.utsystem.edu/cont/Reports....

Steve
Steve

My Senior Year as a Plano Wildcat focused mainly on the utilization of my brother's Driver's License at that Iranian-owned beer store at Parker and Custer. This is after they shut down the drive thru at Central and Plano Pkwy.

That and joints in the Pontiac Phoenix with the overcalibrated Power Booster/Equalizer. Tinny.

12th grade is alright.

Russp
Russp

Isn't there a state law requiring a minimum 180 school days or am I mistaken? I've moved so many times I may have my states mixed up.

heyheymama
heyheymama

Maybe DISD will just trim back the "dead zone" in the curriculum that occurs after TAKS and ITBS. My child, in K, 1, & 2nd, came home telling me they had movies, games, Spirit Days, etc for 2 weeks after the mid-May ITBS test. Not a single day of curriculum.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Yes, school days are determined by the state (185).They do whatever will maximize federal funds.Days in school = dollars.You can't believe how many days are wasted giving kids tests that we bought from Test Company A and Test Company B, etc. so the test companies make money. The "data" those tests reveal is redundant and always of little use.

I'm also pretty sure we have the K-5 bilingual program that we do so we can grab more federal funds. It certainly doesn't help the kids (unless you are a native English speaker. DISD's bilingual program will help you by eliminating any competition when it comes to college entry exams, since the "bilingual" kids are marooned in Spanish until 6th grade, when it's nearly impossible to catch up).

Russp
Russp

What happens if the days drop below the minimum as proposed here (175)? Do the students suffer because colleges won't accept their diplomas or anything like that?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I wouldn't think so, but I'm not a high school counselor.

Lots of homeschooled kids get into top colleges and who really monitors their hours spent learning?

I would think that if the state mandates the change and the districts maintain their accreditation, there wouldn't be a problem.

Also, industries other than public school administrators would benefit from a slightly shorter school year (the travel industry, summer camps, etc). As long as the state cut the days the kids were allowed to be tested, 5-10 days probably wouldn't matter.

Clavag
Clavag

Is there a number somewhere that shows the ratio of teachers to administrators in DISD? How does it compare to other districts?

Byter
Byter

A very good question. I would like to know the answer.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

I can give you some numbers....but if are going to check my work....I want the DISD TAKS exemption you know the one where I didn't get it right but that's OK because I will probably get it right next year.

Byter
Byter

Just make something up. That's what they do. I'll be too busy watching the Superbowl to take an interest anyway. My daughter graduates in May, or June whenever they do that. So I'll just move out of district and quit complaining. Well no I won't stop complaining it's what I do best. Tell them you had a soccer game that day and you can retest.

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

Here is the district's 2009-'10 Organization Chart.

http://www.dallasisd.org/about...

I will come up with a decent gift -- OK, decent-ish -- to the person who wants to break that down into admin positions v. teachers.

Bluiznmesq
Bluiznmesq

Howabout a Wilonsky-Rusty Weir separated at birth photo? :)

trashtalk
trashtalk

At least half that org chart is filled with crony hiring, political appointments, relatives of relatives, and principals who were booted upstairs because they failed as campus leaders.

Hinojosa will not disturb it because the emperor's court knows where all the bones are buried, or they are cronies of his, or relatives of relatives.

McNaughton's data of $289 per student leads to presumptions of low central administrative overhead. VERY WRONG ASSUMPTION.Half the $44 million in 3700 Ross Avenue overhead could be cut without any problems in service. The reason the figure appears low is that there are so many students in the district to be divided by $44 million, not because there is not a bloated administration.

Comparing administrative costs to other urban districts leads down another rabbit hole. They are all corrupt and overstaffed with cronies, relatives of relatives. etc.

The first place to cut is central administration. No one would notice if half of them were gone. Second place is the consultant biz kept going by relationships on the board. If their overpayed central staff doesn't have the capacity to do their jobs, there is no reason to hire a consultant to do it for them. Fire them.All that needs to happen downtown is for paychecks to go out on time. The rest is fluff and bs. This is the reason TFA was ASSURED jobs. Hinojosa knew the time was coming, he covered his crony friends, and now intends to fire based on test scores even though his data is screwy. Teachers will never be able to raise one complaint again about crowded classes, no supplies, or working conditions. By not being proactive for the past couple of years, he has set them up to take the brunt of all the cuts.As far as that incompetent board, believe Cowen asked for scenarios regarding the debacle back in December and Hinojosa refused to give him the plans.Normally, that would be called insubordination, but in Wonderland, it's just taken for granted.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

According to the FAST website http://www.fastexas.org/

20,346 total staff where 1.2% are Central Administration (~244) to 53.8% teachers (~10,946) for ~157,174 students.

"Spending by Function per Pupil" - the total operating expenditures per pupil is $9446 and Central administration makes up $279 of that or $43,851,546.

Athletics programs cost 0.8% of the total expenditure per pupil of $11,233 or $14,124,284. Compare to 65.4% Regular education; 9.9% Special education; 3.5% Bilingual education; 2.3% technical education; and 1.6% for Talented and gifted programs.

Other interesting stuff from the FAST snapshot (data is 2007-2009):

157,174 students, 86.1% economically disadvantaged and 35.0% with limited English proficiency.

Students: 4.6% white, 66.5% Hispanic and 27.6% African American.

Teachers: 35.3% white, 22.1% Hispanic, 39.8% African American. (70.9% of all teachers are female; 5.8% are in their first year of teaching; 39.4% have less than 5 year's experience; annual turnover of 14.4%.)

$1,615,208,620 Total revenue (including equity transfers).

Only 64% pass the TAKS test.

DISD shows Little Relative Progress on the Composite Academic scores (25th percentile Reading + Math) with Average Relative Progress in Math (44th percentile) and the Least Relative Progress in Reading (18th percentile).

The annual 4 year dropout rate is 21.2% with a completion rate of 77.8%

Total staff of 20,346 (14.4 Students per teacher): 53.8% Teachers; 10.8% Professional Support; 2.6% Campus Administration; 1.2% Central Administration; 8.7% Educational Aids; 23% Auxiliary Staff.

Average Salaries: Teachers $53,045; Professional Support $64,478; Campus Admin $76,759; Central Admin $78,871.

Total operating expenditures per pupil is $9446 yet total expenditure per pupil is $11,233. Gotta be careful when referring to "total revenue"..

The state target revenue is $5249 per pupil and the "Weighted Average Daily Attendance" (how DISD is paid) is 199,533 (vs actual warm bodies in seats of 144,300 and an enrollment of 157,085) which yields $1,047,348,717 in total revenue from the State. Yet total revenue is $1,474,580,954 and total revenue including equity transfers is $1,615,208,620.

The only gift necessary is for your folks to vote in the May 2011 Trustee election.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I'd betcha Mike McNaughton knows this info.

Byter
Byter

I'll throw in three bucks ( or equal value ) to that same person. Let's just hope there's a very patient and very poor person out there.

Jay
Jay

I'll say it once again, the DISD is operated as if it were a jobs program for administrators and educators. It's secondary mission seems to be creating construction projects for Dallas' business elite and their selectively chosen minority minions.

The mere fact that over 50% of the kids who enter 1st grade in the DISD never graduate tells me their priorities don't include public education.

Remind me again how much money DISD squandered over the past decade on credit card fraud, payroll fraud, shoddy construction, deferred building maintenance, computer department scams, board junkets, and well, the list is just endless, isn't it?.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

Well said.

scott
scott

Add to that, and keep adding as the problem grows, that such a dysfunctional school district has to pay more than other districts to lure and keep teachers.

Alan
Alan

It will be tough to manage with sharply reduced revenues. It's a safe bet that will require hiring at least 10 more assistant superintendents and area managers. Who needs teachers?

Byter
Byter

How can Dallas be a world class city with second rate education? This budget shortfall could also be used as another reason to do away with magnet schools. The high achievers would go back to failing schools to boost ratings across the board. We were failing before the budget cuts.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

It's more likely that high achievers will go to private or their parents will move out of district.

Also, a few high scorers scattered around the district won't improve the scores much at all.

Testers are divided into sub-groups, also called "sub pops". If you are a high- achieving African American and you go back to a school with a large number of African Americans, your score is simply averaged in with all the rest of the sub pop.

Magnets are a good thing for hard-working kids since our district will not lift a finger to protect them from the truants, the thugs, the drug-sellers, etc who are routinely hauled off campus in handcuffs only to show up trying to intimidate others a week later.

heyheymama
heyheymama

DISD Teacher is correct. The system has no interest in high scorers. Too few are enrolled to make business sense to cater to them. DISD has built its education model around reaching kids on the cusp of failing the TAKS - the low hanging fruit, if you will. And there is a lot of it.

Nor does the DISD have any interest in luring back resident families who've opted to stay in Dallas, but moved their high scoring offspring to private, charter (see North Hills in Irving), or home schools.

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