DISD Super Testifying in Austin This Morning

senatecommitteeeducation.JPG
At this very moment, the state Senate Committee on Education -- which includes chair Florence Shapiro, John Carona and Royce West -- is hearing testimony related to these seven Senate bills, most of which would let school districts increase class size and give teachers furlough days and further flexibility in order to offset some of the budget gutting necessitated by the state's shortfall. You can watch the hearing here (scroll down and get thee RealPlayer); so far so fascinating. And the reason I mention it:  Among the parade of educators scheduled to speak to the committee is Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Michael Hinojosa, who is due up shortly.

Update at 10:50 a.m.: Hinojosa is testifying at this very moment, insisting, regarding class sizes, "We need some flexibility." Right now, says the super, "We're staffed at 19:1 average district-wide," and 21:1 would save $20 million, he says. (Hinojosa, however, doesn't want to grow student-to-teacher ratios at the unacceptable elementary schools.) If DISD can jump there, he says, that would allow for 30:1 in secondary schools -- which, he says, will presented in Version 2.0 Thursday morning.

He also pushes for salary reduction. One percent of payroll is $8.5 million; 10 percent is $85 million, and "that helps us manage." He says DISD trustees would likely ask for two, three percent reductions. And he'd like three, four days of furloughs, at least: "That's a bunch of teachers we don't have to lay off."
My Voice Nation Help
19 comments
Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

The "REAL" battle being waged is against Government Schools as a whole.

http://www.lewrockwell.com/yat...

Take some time to read this page. This is the foundation / Talking points some are working from when it comes to Government Schools .

Filled with Information (at least as the writer sees it )You might see a quote or two you have heard before. Store it as a bookmark as a reference when you hear Something that sounds familiar but just can't place it.

Follow a link or two and see who puts this stuff out .

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

-To Magnet Dads: Every child has talent. Every. Single. Child. The magnets are not "the best" schools. They SCREEN AND SELECT their students. That's called cherry-picking. I personally have no problem with magnets as long as their staffing ratios are equal to comprehensive schools. They can pat themselves on the back as much as they like after that.

I DO have a problem with the increasingly apparent attitude that magnet kids are more talented or more hard-working than other kids. Absolutely not true. Offensive. If anything, whomever makes the point that magnet kids are more talented should be willing to accept that the magnets could best withstand the brunt of the cuts. Since the kids are so much better and all....

-Trashtalk and Holler: I think you're both more on the same page than would appear. It's about govt officials ripping the rest of us off. We have less influence on the state level, but WE are the electorate for the school board.

How about we all agree to join forces to clean up the school board AND the governorship?

The school board is coming up in May. I heard that Lew Blackburn, who was seemingly okay with Claudia's latest appt to Chief of Staff, has a son who will run against Carla Ranger.

We don't need that. We need trustees who will stand up and do what's right and Carla Ranger is the only one I've seen do that.

Lew and Bernadette need to worry less about befriending their co-trustees and the business class in Dallas. They need to worry more about the taxpayers.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

As a magnet parent, I'm not arguing that the magnets shouldn't have to share the pain. The issue is that--at least in the initial proposals floated by Hinojosa in his "worst-case" scenario, the magnets faced much steeper cuts than comprehensives with similar sized enrollments. This is despite the fact that they are currently staffed at similar levels. (Typically roughly 1:10 at schools like BTW or Adams, vs about 1: 17 for a larger school like White or Sunset).

For the record, there were also disparities among larger schools. Sunset, since it's my neighborhood school stands out in my mind was much harder hit than some of the other large schools, as was Skyline.

Hinojosa--who has made it clear he wants to eliminate the magnets--uses them as a smokescreen to distract people from the fact that apparently some comprehensives are more equal than others. Why is that?

Guest
Guest

You know, when the banks and brokerage houses (and insurers like AIG) blew up from the financial meltdown, the government, regulators and bankers said that huge bonuses still needed to be paid to brokers even though the banks couldn't afford them (and were now, essentially government owned) because those getting the bonuses weren't the ones responsible for the destruction of the market.

By every measurable standard, there are teachers and schools out there who are succeeding at educating students. So, by the standard set by the government when they bailed out the banks, those teachers and schools should be rewarded? I mean, you certainly can't blame the government's unbalanced budget on the successful teachers and schools.

But instead of a bonus for being successful, we have Hinojosa down in Austin begging to be allowed to pay everybody (objectively successful or not) less.

Is that what we've become? We can find hundreds of millions to reward bankers working for banks that destroyed our economy, but we cannot under any circumstances make sure that successful teachers maintain their current rate of pay, let alone be rewarded for their success.

I'm starting to feel really glad that I went to business school knowing that the only people our "new economy" thinks are worth earning money regardless of success are guys like me with MBAs.

trashtalk
trashtalk

One more point:an average class size of 30:1 means some classes will have 20 and others will have 40.

Let's guess where the 40 children will be: ninth grade Algebra, Biology, and English.

Way to go Republicans.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Let's clarify:Hinojosa is asking for the right to take a few percentages in pay cuts and some furlough days.For the average teacher at $50,000, this means a $5,000 pay cut.

The chances of getting that money back are slim. This effectively erases 7-8 years of experience.

For Claudia and the rest who were insulated with 10% pay increases in December, when Hinojosa was totally aware of what was coming, it means no decrease.

Hinojosa is asking to decrease teacher pay rather than eliminating layers and layers of useless central personnel.

There are other choices than the ones being promoted by Flo Shapiro, the snake of the Senate. Try increasing taxes rather than axing teacher pay across the entire state.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

This makes no sense. First, you criticize Hiney for an overstaffed, overpaid administration. Then come down on Flo for not raising taxes?!

Your message appears to be: Stupide Republicans need to raise taxes so Hiney can continue to mismanage things. Maybe I am misunderstanding you.

Why not hold the line on taxes and force Hiney to make the cuts in administration (and construction) that he should have made years ago?

If Hiney and the BoT gets away with cutting teacher salary while mismanaging administration staffing, construction, and budgetary issues, is that Flo/Republican/Austin's fault or is that the fault of Dallas voters who let Hiney and the BoT keep doing business as usual?

trashtalk
trashtalk

You would have to be the most naive person in the world to think that these cuts are going to affect Hinojosa's henchmen.

Hinojosa will decide where to bury the hatchet, and it will be straight in the back of teachers. You are not going to force him to cut central administration through this state debacle.If and when the economy gets better, try finding teachers for Dallas. They will again be scraping the bottom of the barrel to find anyone to teach in their schools.Teach for America won't supply enough to make up for the vacancies, and they just got their noses thrown out of the federal pork barrel this week.

The only way to make changes in administration in Dallas is to fire the superintendent, who is the worst on record, and this current board doesn't have the brains or backbone to do it.

Those who are going to be damaged most severely by Rick Perry's fiasco will be teachers. Many live so close to the edge financially that a 10% cut will be catastrophic.Not only that, but they had no reason to wake up in 2011 and think they would see pay cuts.

A cut to a central administrator making $100K a year is nothing. Try replacing that income for a teacher making only $50K, and try to get future grads to stay in this state and teach.

The damage is going to linger for decades.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Preston Holler-Rick Perry is slash and burning public and higher ed across the state. He isn't about getting rid of sludge like the central administration in Dallas. There are districts all over the state that are getting slapped that have been run efficiently. Now Shapiro is offering a real deal: the chance for any superintendent who wishes to furlough teachers and cut their pay. Notice nothing was said about removing the top layer of crud from Dallas.

The Dallas board has ONE chance to do something right. Exigency will void all contracts. They can cut Hinojosa's pay in half or fire him. The moment he declares a financial exigency, Hinojosa no longer has a contract. They can then find a superintendent who WILL cut central administration and curriculum and instruction and all the instructional coaches.

But they won't. Why? They are pathetic. They will allow Hinojosa to increase class sizes and cut teacher pay and they will ALLOW him to feed them whatever line of crap he wishes because the majority of them have some under the table deal somewhere with people who pull their strings. Others are just know-nothing bullies like Flores.

Hinojosa will announce salary cuts for teachers and huge increases in class sizes and the school board will think they have won a reprieve. Hinojosa will figure out ways to save the salaries of his chiefs and add more cronies to the payroll.

The only people who will lose on this deal will be parents, taxpayers, and kids. The quality of life in Dallas sinks a little lower because every board member is compromised by their relationships to consultants, the CC, developers, EIF, the Hunts, their relatives on the payroll, or their own general stupidity.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

OK, trashtalk, I guess you win. We agree that Hiney's and the BoT are the problem. But, according to you, there aint nothing we can do about it.

So, now Perry is the boogeyman because he won't give Hiney more money to waste.

Go ahead, let Hinojosa and the BoT win. They've botched everything, again. They are at fault. But instead of keeping the pressure on them, let's do what you think should be done: throw your hands up in the air and have the taxpayer shovel out more money.

Mister_Mean
Mister_Mean

I do not trust the DISD administration to do anything right as long as we have Blackburn, Flores, Lowe and Hinojosa in office. Good times and bad times they can't manage the distirct. Thier priorities are all out of wack and they are out of touch for so very very long.

Wylie H.
Wylie H.

How does Sen. Royce West navigate the tremendous conflicts of interest he has when he simultaneously wears two hats:

1) regulating DISD through his role as a member of the Senate Committee on Education; and

2) serving as a paid advocate for DISD (serving as one of its primary outside counsels)?

Somebody's Dad
Somebody's Dad

Please don't let the Republicans gut our public schools and destroy the very successful magnet programs. Please. Our future depends on it.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Is it the Republicans that are the problem or is it Hinojosa's need for an over bloated administration with, for example, a Chief of Staff that makes $200,000 a year? Or is it a BoT that won't stop constructing new schools for cronies that own construction companies?

I'm also proud of the successful maganet programs that are turning out some of the best mimes in the country and winners of the Theonius Magnus Epic Jazz Award for Kids That Need to Go to D.C. (or whatever it's called). But if "our future depends" on anything, it is educating kids in math, reading, and science at the comprehensives rather than providing enriching experiences in the arts.

Somebody's Dad
Somebody's Dad

Booker T is an awesome school, but Townview has the sciences covered. Best damn HS in America. There's your future. Beyond that, nearly every student that graduates from the Dallas magnet program gets a free ride, or almost free, to college.

Most of Booker T was remodeled with private funds, you know.

Believe it or not, Hinijosa is the best Super we've had in decades.

Another Dad
Another Dad

Preston, The kids at Townview and Booker T are there because they want to be. They have to apply and be accepted. Let's by all means prepare all students for work or college, but that is not accomplished by punishing some kids for having talents that others don't. Neither Townview or Booker has has sports, so are kids there being denied the right to earn athletic scholarships?

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

If the core value of the DISD is to provide a few select students a "free ride" to college, then by all means, let's keep the magnets untouched in this fiscal crisis. The DISD is a $1 billion organization. With those resources, it should be simple to have a handful of magnets that get to pick and choose ist students.

On the other hand, if the goal of the DISD is to prepare ALL of its students to be prepared for college or the workplace, then maybe the magnets need to feel the same pain that all the comprehensives will feel.

Wouldn't it be interesting to switch the student bodies of say A. Maceo with Townview and switch Spruce with Booker T. My bet is that the Townview's and Booker T's sterling records of sending everyone to college on a "free ride" will take a huge dip.

As for Hinojosa being the best Super we've had in decades, isn't that like saying the Detroit Lions just had the best season they've had in decades.

Cliffhanger
Cliffhanger

Hollywood movies and pop music are about the only thing the U.S. has a trade surplus on these days. Those BTW kids (who somehow end up at schools like Yale, Northwestern, Johns Hopkins, Carnegie-Mellon, USC, and other top-rated schools as well as Juilliard and Eastman) are going to be doing plenty for all of us.

And hurting the magnets does not equate to improving the comprehensives.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...