DISD Supporters' New Rallying Cry

donttouchthepurple.jpg
I see the Dallas Independent School District board has pulled from its Thursday meeting to-do list the following consent agenda item: "Consider and Take Possible Action to Approve the 2011-12 Campus Staffing Formulas, Non-Position Campus Formulas, and Non-Campus Staffing Guidelines." Which, for those who need a refresher, the Dallas Friends of Public Education has posted right here. I also see the graphic above is making the rounds -- both on the DFPE website and the Save DISD School Facebook page, which we discussed over the weekend. And, yes, the purple represents teachers.

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LifeinOC
LifeinOC

There is a 370 page org chart that needs an eraser taken to it. I suspect that there is some purple in it that is misleading. Not all the purple is made up of teachers.

Why has no one brought up breaking the TFA contract? Last RIF vote was immediately followed by passing of a TFA contract to hire non-educator newbies. Just passed another contract for Wendy a few months ago. Surely a RIF clause in that. Wendy and the lost boys and girls need to return to Never-never-land.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

LifeinOC: you nailed it. You take a newbie right out of undergraduate with a degree in design. They want to get some "real world" experience but can't get a "real world" job. So, to pad their resume before applying to law school, they sing up for the trendy Teach for America. They get their real world job that is only a two year stint. Then they get to put the sexy TFA on their graduate school application. In the meanwhile, they spend the first year of teaching shell shocked in the classroom. Once they get halfway decent at it in their second year, their stint is over. Meanwhile, experienced teachers are forced out the district.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

I'd like to see a pie chart that includes 1) amounts spent on athletics; 2) amounts spent building new schools (i.e. amounts going to construction companies); 3) amounts spent on Hinojosa's perks. Once we start talking about slashing these items, then we can move on to talking about whether or not the "purple" needs to be touched.

P-farmer
P-farmer

I believe we need to frame the conversation correctly.If the public schools are to give a good education to our children, then the cutting of teachers would be the last move. But, as now, public education is a cash cow for construction, testing, and consulting interest. I want to save money and be efficient also,so here is my idea for a start.Suspend construction on new facilities and review all maintenance contracts, paying close attention to all commercial/industrial air conditioning, electrical and plumbing systems contracts. If we can change teachers contracts, I see no reason that these should be off limits.Use the SAT as the measure for college readiness and immediately supend developement of the STAAR test.Suspend all consultive contracts.

I am sure there are more ways to save money, love to here others.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Yes, yes, yes, yes

Please run for school board.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

New facility construction monies come from the bond passed several years ago. On November 17, 2010 DISD cashed in almost a billion dollars of that construction bond and is now spending willy-nilly. They will build 12 new schools in the next two years. 4 are replacement schools - 8 are new schools. Enrollment has stagnated at 157,000 for the last 5 years - no increase in students. There are no funds budgeted to open, staff or operate these schools (which should cost, on average, $2M per year, each).

P-farmer
P-farmer

Great info.Can we use the money for the eight new schools to off-set the shortfall?I remember the City of Dallas having a bond election(2006?), we were sold on the provisions of the bonds, then they were switched for another uses.Sounds like turn about is fair play

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

In the worst case scenario, a $260M shortfall, it will be inevitable that teachers will have to be cut.

However, there appear to be enough savings by making administrative cuts ($9M from $47M ); Stipends ($20M from $25M); and unnecessary or failed programs and contractor and vendor agreements to cover at least $167M of the shortfall. That will go a long way to protecting reasonable classroom student/teacher ratios and most teaching positions if the worst case scenario isn’t realized.

Dallas ISD Trustees and Administrators must focus on wasteful spending, ineffective programs and bloat, before slashing necessary teaching positions - with an emphasis on "necessary".

As pointed out by astute followers of Unfair Park, "Don't Touch the Purple" is an over-simplification of a very complex budget with the potential (as always) for unforeseen consequences and ripple effects. The public has a greater opportunity to have input to the process today due to the diligence of parent groups and organizations like DFPE than at any other time in the last few years and I encourage everyone to add your budget suggestions at www.dfpe.org

Brenda Marks
Brenda Marks

What exactly is "instructional-related services?" If you put that with "support services non-student-based" to me those sound like they would include the same costs. Totaled, they cover the deficit. Can't one of those categories, along with the top-heavy administrative column, take the first tough hits?

Along with the local cuts, which all of us know are inevitable, the Legislative and Governor have to fix the biggest ongoing problem that they created in 2005 -- the business margins tax. The Leg has been budgeting the revenue side by saying that tax would yield approximately $7 billion for education. It has not. It has resulted in only HALF of that amount. If that problem is not fixed, we will be facing a budget crisis at the local level every year into the future. Or, we are looking at a statewide property tax. Yes, I said it. And I can assure you those words have already been uttered in the State Capitol by Republicans (and the very few Democrats who are merely bystanders in this process).

We can't kid ourselves into thinking we can cut our way to a permanent fix. This bill, when and if passed, will be headed back to the Supreme Court because many districts in Texas that are currently receiving state funds will be put in the category of contributing state funds. Remember the state is already funding LESS of the school dollar than the local district. If this proposed appropriations bill is passed, the state's share will decrease even further. The equity requirement of the Texas Constitution will be left standing on its head. Folks, this problem is much bigger and serious than currently being discussed. But the truth is, they (Rick Perry, David Dewhurst, Flo Shapiro, Rob Eissler) don't want us to understand it much less address it. That way they can continue to propose and rely on only political solutions that pick political winners and losers. And our kids (and the state) will pay a big price. This is serious folks. Really serious. And I continue to be bewildered at the sophomoric level of debate occurring on it.

JoeBlow1078
JoeBlow1078

I'm a big supporter of teachers, but anyone who has run a large organization knows you can't make the types of cuts necessary to bring expenses in line with revenue (which the Board has no control over) without touching a line item that accounts for almost 2/3 of your expenses. I'd favor raising taxes or using the rainy day fund to avoid cuts, but the DISD doesn't get to make those decisions.

trashtalk
trashtalk

There are over $25 million in stipends in the purple. That can be the teacher contribution, and it needs to include ALL athletic stipends, which will bump the figure much higher. It needs to include the $7K in Campus Improvement Leadship Team bogus bull, and AP stipends. Better stipends than jobs. Cheerleader stipends, math stipends, ESL stipends---all need to go.The rest of it can be pulled out of central administration, instructional leadership, staff development, parent advocacy, safety, alternative certification, etc.

The alternative in middle and high school translates into student loads of 200 or more students per teacher. If coaches want to gripe about their after school hours, hand them 200 English essays to grade, but first might want to check if those athletic coaches are even degreed.

Anonymous
Anonymous

This is only true of non-government organizations. In government organizations the cuts are based on politics, pure and simple. Don't be fooled into believing otherwise.

StopDISDorg
StopDISDorg

Teachers are getting pink slips and Schools will be closing while DISD wastes $22 million to demolish and destroy a historical school and neighborhood for parking lots in-between homes!

Our newly (2.6 M) renovated O.M. Roberts is just 102 years old, the Presidential White House is 219 years old. The White House is still standing and is a national landmark, but our newly renovated O.M. Roberts is scheduled for demolition. That doesn't make economic sense! We don't want to keep paying for unnecessary new schools and renovations when the state of DISD’s education system is still in dire need of its own repair. Our historical buildings are the windows to the past!

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

THERE IS AN ALTERNATE PLAN that would save tax dollars, but DISD refuses to seriously discuss the issue of an alternate solution or alternate site.

Contact your elected DISD Board Member at 972-925-3700, or by visiting DISD’s website at www.Dallasisd.org and let them know we want their focus on improving the quality of education for our students and work on increasing the compensation for our teachers and preservation of our schools and communities! 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...

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