As DISD Prepares to "Declare a Financial Exigency," Super Discusses Perry-Doggett Fight

savetxschools.jpg
This is this weekend, incidentally.
At last week's budget town hall, Dallas Independent School District trustee Edwin Flores took a thinly veiled shot at U.S. Rep. Lloyd Doggett, who he did not name, over the $830 million in federal Education Jobs Fund money presently sitting in D.C. As Flores told it, Doggett's blocking the money from entering the state and saving teachers' jobs -- simple as that. But, of course, it's hardly that simple at all.

Doggett's amendment to H.R. 1586 demands that money be "used only for awards to local educational agencies for the support of elementary and secondary education." Which Doggett insisted upon after Governor Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature used billions in federal stimulus dough to balance the budget two years ago. As the Texas Observer writes in its primer on the subject, which you'll find on Doggett's website, "Doggett's fear was that Perry would treat the funds as a $830 million blank check."

This morning, The Wall Street Journal tackles the subject, as Doggett and Perry's people back-and-forth on the subject. Says Doggett, "Federal aid to education should actually aid education in our local Texas schools, not provide a bailout to the governor for his mismanagement of the state budget." Retorts Perry spokeswoman Katherine Cesinger: "It's outrageous that someone from Washington would attempt to dictate how a state, especially one as economically competitive as Texas, should spend money."

Meanwhile, on Thursday the DISD board will get a look at "Preliminary Budget Reduction Plan Version 2.0"-- and then more than likely approve a resolution to "Declare a Financial Exigency and the Need for a Reduction in Force Affecting all Positions." In the Journal piece, the DISD super weighs in on the battle for the bucks.
Michael Hinojosa, superintendent at Dallas Independent School District, said the federal money could offset some of the cuts he is considering. Under his current plan, high school classrooms would swell to 35 students from the current 25, teachers' allowances for supplies would be reduced and some 4,000 teaching jobs could be eliminated.

Even if Dallas's share of the Washington money arrives -- about $50 million, according to Mr. Hinojosa -- it won't be enough to cover his district's projected $253 million shortfall for next school year. But, he said, it would help. "We don't care how they work it out," he said of the state's politicians. "I don't think that children should be pawns in a political battle."
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23 comments
Mypublic1
Mypublic1

When Representative Doggett was considering his amendment, his office called all of the major school districts in Texas, including Dallas. The proposal was explained, and the districts were asked their opinion. They unanimously supported the amendment. The districts were unhappy with the way Governer Perry misused the original stimulus money, and wanted to avoid a repeat. Now the DISD is critical of the amendment they wholeheartedly supported? I am disgusted by the hypocrisy of the Board and especially Mr. Flores.

scottindallas
scottindallas

You have to see this from a "conservative" perspective. All Gov't is bullshit, we get money, what difference does it make where we throw good money after bad. Better let us just "keep" our money, so we'll keep taxes low and just take what ever we can get. That's politics and big business today. These "god fearing patriots" check all morality when it comes to profit taking.

Guest
Guest

"It's outrageous that someone from Washington would attempt to dictate how a state, especially one as economically competitive as Texas, should spend money."

I used this same argument with my bank when I asked to borrow $5 million the other day. They asked me what the money was for, and I told them that it was outrageous that they would attempt to dictate how an individual, especially one as economically competitive as I am, should spend money.

Surprisingly, that didn't result in their giving me the money.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Don’t let Hiney and Flores get away with it.

Hiney comes out with massive scare tactics of cutting 3000 teachers and increasing the class size of up to 50-60 students per classroom. This is the “New Reality.” What ISN’T part of the “New Reality” is 1) stripping a bloated Administration to a normal level; 2) cutting athletics; 3) cutting arts; or 4) stopping construction of new schools (even though many schools have plenty of room). To throw gasoline on the fire, they rekindle the need to cut the magnets.

Predictably, everyone freaks out... especially the magnet parents. They demand answers. Willing to oblige, Hiney and Flores roll out the convenient scapegoat: It’s all Austin’s fault for not tapping into the rainy day fund. Now they are stoking the Perry v. Doggett fight.

How convenient. All the attention is focused on places other than those who are suppose to anticipate these budget problems: 1) Hiney; 2) Flores (and the rest of the BoT) and 3) an overstaffed administration.

There are hundreds of other schools districts statewide (with FAR less resources) than the DISD who had the common sense to anticipate these budget problems. They took steps to neutralize, or at least severely minimize, the fallout from this.

Hiney and Flores didn’t. They were too busy building schools and maintaining an over bloated administrative fiefdom down at 3700 Ross.

DO NOT LET THEM AVOID THEIR RESPONSIBILITIES. They created this mess. And now they want to keep up with business as usual by pressuring Austin to cough up more money to throw at the same old problems.

Plfarmer
Plfarmer

Perry wants to be POTUS. He thinks he can get the nod as the most reactionary. The irony is that he can only do that by first showing his concervative cred, by balancing the budget. By accepting Fed dollars, but only to use them to plug the gap in the budget as he did the last time.Only through pressure from his base, that they see the shell game, will this stop. But it is this very base that want vouchers and more charter schools, the slow death of universal education and standards.All Mr. Doggett is saying is fool me once shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me.

Taylor
Taylor

As long as he resigns first, I'm all for him running.

PLFarmer
PLFarmer

why do you like him. I really don't get it, but a lot of Texans seem to.

Dan Brantley
Dan Brantley

OK has ANYONE heard ANYTHING at ANY TIME about cutting football programs to help balance school budgets?I keep seeing teachers, drama, art, speech, music, magnet schools, even some administrative positions...but NOT-A-PEEP about football.Shouldn't these multi-million dollar programs (in some districts) face the same cuts as others?Just asking.

Hasand
Hasand

What about the DISD Police Dept.?

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

0.8% of the budget

trashtalk
trashtalk

TEA reporting the figure per student is disengenous. Compensatory ed in Dallas covers 85% of the total students enrolled because it's doled out on the basis of poverty, so of course it's a huge sum.

Divide the $10 million spent on football and sports in Dallas by the 6,600 graduating seniors with low skills. Comes out in Dallas to $1,515 per student. This would be higher if the high graduating enrollments of the magnets were removed.

Dividing the sports budget, part of which is on campus added to the money hidden in general funds, by the total students enrolled k-12 gives a very false picture. The majority of money is spent at the high school level at failing high schools.Magnet students aren't even part of this, so they should be excluded.

While sports may offer huge value to few students, let's quit lying about the resources chasing it. At the worst schools in Dallas, it is a huge drain on the budget and personnel. The majority of students gain nothing from it.

While removing it won't move the needle on the deficit, continuing to keep its real costs from the public is a disservice.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Who knows how much revenue it generates, and who cares? Poll dancing on school time might generate revenue and much of the cheerleading squads appear to be nearing that as entertainment.

Equate the costs in school time and money to graduation rates in Dallas. Bet the worst schools with the lowest graduation rates are spending the most money on sports. Sports stipends at some of these school range around $140K. Where is any measure in terms of graduation rates or students actually going and finishing college on sports scholarships?

The magnets have the highest graduation rates and no sports. Better ROI for taxpayer money.

Jefferson Blvd
Jefferson Blvd

How much revenue does DISD football generate?

JV sports costs included?

Middle school athletics? Multiple 7th and 8th grade teams at each middle school?

I say big BS on your 1500 per kid number. Back it up, how bouts?

EDM
EDM

"According to data from the Texas Education Agency, in the 2009-10 school year, about 2.4 percent of districts’ general operating expenses were spent on extracurricular activities, including athletics. That comes out to about $157 per student. In comparison, districts spent $787 per student on academic support programs for underachieving children and $274 per student spent on bilingual and ESL education."

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

You want to disrupt Friday Night entertainment ? My God man have you lost your mind ?35 to 75 players and helpers ?Cheer Teams of 10 to how many ever ?4 + Drum Majors Majorette 1+Baton Twirlers.125+ kids in the marching bands..THE DRUM LINE !60+ Girl drill teams.30+ Flag corps .1+ Mascots ?And all the kids who also assist them.

And the Priceless Bragging Rights ? Over the next town ?

That's a lot of Pi$$ED off parents and Town folk .

PLFarmer
PLFarmer

Flores kept stating that this was less them 0.5 % of the budget, therefore not worth looking at.Have not verified, just relaying

StopDISDorg
StopDISDorg

Some schools like O.M. Roberts are below enrollment but, DISD seems to think that a new 22 million dollar school with an 800 student capacity is needed!

NOTE~O.M. Robert Elementary was renovated just a few short years ago now it is scheduled for demolition and 22 million more tax dollars will be used to rebuild and destroy it along with destroying a neighborhood to put in parking lots in-between remaining homes.

We do NOT 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. We want DISD to focus on improving the quality of education for our students and work on increasing the compensation for our teachers NOT destroying our historical schools and neighborhoods!

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...

Montemalone
Montemalone

Children are the perfect pawns in a political battle, they don't vote.

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