Read the Dallas Independent School District's "Budget Reduction Plan Version 2.0"

boardbriefing_031011.jpg
The scene at 3700 Ross Avenue today, courtesy the district
Jim -- lucky -- is at 3700 Ross at this very moment, where the trustees are doing a little math involving employees and enrollment. Moments ago, Carla Ranger wanted to know: If enrollment has dropped, why has the number of employees grown? She didn't get the answer she wanted; she was told, We'll get back to you. At which point the super said they're naming that appointed citizens council tomorrow. Maybe. Maybe not.

But, of course, the thing you want most to see right now is the latest version of the budget, which was presented to the trustees a little while ago during their board briefing -- the one that says the district will only need to cut $150 million (maaaaaaybe) from the budget and not that worst-case-scenario $253 million.

The 31-page PowerPoint was just posted to the district's website; below you'll see the reasons the district assumes things will get better (but you know what they say about assuming ...) while still having to lay off 1,298 teachers. Said Jack Lowe, "This is the best, most logical, transparent effort" he's seen in his nine years on the school board. I know, I know.

Upon his return, Jim will offer his interpretation of the day's events.
Major Assumptions - Version 2.0

The Assumptions for the $103 Million Difference are:
  • Use of the "Rainy Day" Fund - $40.2 Million (Total State - $4.3 Bil)
  • Increased Revenue Assumptions from the State Comptroller - $18.7 Million (Total State - $2.0 Bil)
  • Deferral of Expenditures to the Next Biennium - $18.7 Million (Total State - $2.0 Bil)
  • K-12 Public Education Savings Allocated to Dallas ISD Through Distribution Model - $25.4 Million
My Voice Nation Help
25 comments
Borborygmus
Borborygmus

Yes, money. Because I'm not sucking on the taxpayer's tit for my retirement and health benefits. Because in a bad economy that money is better used to feed a business that employs over 50 people instead of closing and putting them out of work.

We're not rich, and the hours spent volunteering sometimes was greater than the hours my paying job required, to benefit all the kids within the school. Yes, I've seen the worst of the district, and no my children didn't attend any of those schools. But to say there is NO option for kids within DISD is an outright lie. To say there has been no improvement in the district in the past 4 years is also an outright lie.

You think putting vouchers in the hands of the qualifying low income parents of kids who are failing in DISD will solve the problems? Just because they have a voucher it will not be a golden ticket to entry at ANY of the private schools in existence currently. They already are generous with scholarships for kids who qualify, I know this because I've helped raise thousands of dollars for these very same private schools. I say it's a great way to grow more graft to siphon off from the funds our system has now.

I'm Republican, and if people want to PAY more for a service they FEEL is better than the public option offered, then GOOD FOR THEM. Knock yourself out.

But the other, legal and ultimately enriching option, is to GUT IT OUT and try to help make the district better within the scope of your reach. My kids certainly didn't suffer one bit from this choice, in fact, it's giving them a great perspective on life.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

@Borbor: So happy you can laugh all the way to the bank. Because it was really your kids who endured DISD schools and not you, after all. All the TAKS prep, all the disruptive kids, all the HVAC issues...YOUR CHILDREN padded your retirement account. KA-CHING! Music to your ears.

And as a DISD parent you know all about private schools. Because you've experienced them, right? Or wait...you've been in DISD the whole time.

I'm sorry the fact that I call attention to the hell-hole schools this board and administration have been busy doing nothing about threatens you and your bank acct somehow. Because let's face it: if the handful of other middle class parents pull out of DISD, you will, too, and that will affect your 401K.

As long as innocent but poor kids have to endure Truett, Hill Middle, Spruce HS, Kimball HS and all the other chaotic, ineffectively principal-ed schools, I will speak out. Those kids don't have choices.

Tell me: which of your kids went to Hill? Truett? I mean DISD is such a nirvana of education, right? No room for improvement!

How about Spruce? Did your child graduate from Spruce? Or Kimball? Kimball is such a mess that when the district tried to fire a Kimball teacher the JUDGE even blamed her test results on the school.

Money over children.Disgusting.

StopDISDorg
StopDISDorg

DISD could save tons of tax dollars by using Bond monies for Education not on paving in a concrete waste land of parking lots / playgrounds in-between homes.

There is an alternate solution that would utilize our tax dollars more efficiently, but DISD refuses to seriously discuss the issue of an alternate solution or alternate site.

Read all about it here http://blogs.dallasobserver.co...

Contact your elected DISD Board Member at 972-925-3700, or by visiting DISD’s website at www.Dallasisd.org. Tell them that you 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.

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...

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

My kids are in DISD schools and we love it. DISD Teacher has his/her kids in private, his/her kids and mine will all end up eligible for the same colleges when they graduate (excluding Univ/Texas). Except since we've saved 12 years of private school tuition, our kids should be able to graduate from college debt free and we'll have some $ tucked away for retirement.

How am I certain of this? Already have one attending an out-of-state university with some great Dallas kids who graduated from private schools here, and in his second year he's still on the Dean's List there. Only he's due to graduate withinin 3 years instead of 4 because of the 35 credit hours the university gave him for passing AP tests in DISD. 35 credit hours = $25,000. Ka-ching.

DISD Teacher, I'm praying that you'll get a job you like so you can be a happier person. I'm also praying you don't teach in the school my kids attend.

Borborygmus
Borborygmus

PAID ADVERTISEMENT........

For those QUALIFYING low income folks who have been gifted a voucher yet have been denied entry by the upper crust at Jesuit, Hockaday, St. Michaels, or even Parish Episcopal because they're "full"?

Come to Dr. Borborygmus' "You Pass No Matter What" High School, where in 5 years (average) we will grant you a diploma, guaranteed. In the mean time, we avoid state oversight just like the pre-TAKS days, so if you want to major in SPORTS, it's fine (wink, wink), you'll pass FOR SURE. And for those slackers not interested in sports or academics, we'll take that voucher anyhow, because it is income flow, and because anyone knows that we must be better than public school, well, because we're PRIVATE.

For those regular folks who are not granted vouchers because their family income exceeds $80K per year, well, you can cough up $10,000? Then, WE'LL TAKE YOU TOO! Because we must be better than public school, we're PRIVATE and we don't have teacher unions.

Our staff, among the best not hired by other private or public school systems, will guarantee that your child will have something to do. All day long. Guaranteed.

So call us today at 1-800-ISTUPID, and sign your child up. Or contact our sister school, DISD Teacher High School, where with a narrow world vision, your child could one day teach others how to hate their jobs!

trashtalk
trashtalk

Even if vouchers fit you like a glove, there has to be money to provide them. If that's the plan--to hand out vouchers, Perry better figure out where the money is coming from, because right now he is getting ready only to be annointed the biggest, baddest right wing idiot in the world.

The state of Texas doesn't seem to have some Grand Plan to provide any type of public education. It seems too many children now live here and wish to go to college here.

Other than sending our kids to bordering states that still fund public education, an impasse has been reached. Perry has lied through his teeth and allowed a structural snowball to build such a deficit that providing enough education funding for even a decent voucher for all students is not possible at this point. Again, do we start an education underground railroad to Arkansas, Louisiana, or Oklahoma?

And how does transferring your child from one disaster to another help? Those who still believe there is a place where Catholic schools still prosper need to consider the fact that nuns are in short supply as are smart women who will provide a great education for little to nothing.

There is going to have to be a more overt, public discussion of why Republicans have simply decided to quit funding any type of public education in a manner that makes planning possible, whether it is for a child's college education or for starting the next school year.

It seems they want to sabotage the chances of anyone but the wealthy or those who are able to home school their children. Even charters cost plenty.

Instead, there seems to be some kind of news blackout except for William McKenzie at Belo who just makes up pure crap on a daily basis.

Tomorrow is the deadline for new bills. Where is the Republican plan other than to partially shut down k-12? Some bordering suburbs are in so much shock, they are also waiting, waiting, waiting. They seem to feel that since they have sinned in no way similar to Dallas, that this apocalypse will pass them by.

Wouldn't count on it.

LaceyB
LaceyB

This might sound like a stupid question, but, have they considered firing subs to keep full time teachers?I'm a good one (so keep me), and it used to be that you could wake up and work as you pleased. But, around Xmas, it became impossible to get a daily job, which means that they are still hiring.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

Look--I'm not a crazy Tea Party person, so please don't jump all over me.And I loathe Perry.But am I not ok with the status quo, either.

The status quo gives you overpaid administrators, an irresponsible number of off-campus employees, and a seniority system. And ever-increasing taxes in a district where enrollment is decreasing.

Vouchers are the only thing I see changing the game for urban districts, but I am open to other ideas. The wonderful, cherished public school system we remember is not working anymore. It has been so thoroughly and completely corrupted in urban areas the only way to renew neighborhoods and a sense of community are vouchers.

I've been to most DISD schools for one reason or another and I can tell you most teachers are adequate and know more than their kids. Our job is to teach them HOW to teach themselves more than anything else, so having a Harvard degree isn't really necessary.

This district's problems are all political and at the admin level. I can't think of anything short of me being superintendent or vouchers fixing that.

Especially in Pleasant Grove and south Dallas, the kids deserve to be FREE of the gulags created by a very corrupt administration.

This merry-go-round (or daisy chain as heyheymama put it) will not end on its own. It can't. It is an entity in and of itself, existing for itself.

Dallas needs to think outside the box. Vouchers for every child in this district. Affordable, responsive, effective schools will be founded and they will fight for those dollars. The kids will win. The community will prosper.

And thanks, Trashtalk, for your great summary. Keep up your posts.

trashtalk
trashtalk

Here is a summary:

Actual situation at Arts and Townview unclear because fine arts are not included in total FTEs, which would include a hunk of arts staff, and it appears that magnet teachers at Townview might be teaching the entire school, and they also will get some teachers back. The old situation in the academics where kids were in small classes all day is probably not going to happen again.

The bigger issue was blowing through $7 million for no reason at all. Five principals took the dough and ran. Are we to assume they won't have to be replaced? All those elementary teachers will have to be replaced, and so what did this accomplish? Zero.

At this point, Hinojosa is simply burning the campuses in every way possible. No ISS at the high schools? So the bad kids just sit in class and have a field day? Lack of necessary janitorial staff on campuses? No hall monitors? How about those at 3700 clean their own cubicles rather than letting the campuses get dirtier and dirtier. No parking lot monitor? Good bye cars.

IFL probably on its way out--thank goodness, but how about taking all those instructional coaches with it, along with Micheaux, who is useless. CEI "consultant" gone, so no one can interpret scores. Its days are numbered. And all the dashboard consultants can follow Arnie like camp followers to Houston.

The news for teachers? Everything is as clear as mud, but this much seems apparent:Save all your pennies because your supply budgets are gone. Buy a vacuum cleaner for your room. And get plenty of sleep this summer if you are a middle or high school teacher, because if you return in the fall, your class load is going to go from 120 to 200 or more students.

200 or more students is not bearable. 7 classes out of 8 periods is not bearable. There will be huge classes for everyone except the kids who opt into some AP classes in mainly crummy high schools.

The class ratios on the sheets on the dfpe website don't include teachers outside the core, so positions will be returned. For the teachers in the core, the class loads are simply, shall we say, Detroitish?

Welcome to detroit isd, Texas style. Governor Big Hair letting go of the rainy day money will barely fund the foundation, so long-term, no answer there.

The answer will come when those who brought Robin Hood take a look at Dallas kids stuck in classes of 40+ on unsafe campuses and compare their circumstances to those students in Highland Park who will not even notice a ripple in their new swim palace.

The current funding fiasco is not fair to either group, but the inequities caused by the Tea party fanatics will wind up costing millions in lawsuits. Perry will blame Obama for the lawsuits, and then demand that the feds give him so more money to shove up his rainy day fund.

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

Townview loses 65 FTEs (From 179.5 to 114.5) or a 36.21% reduction.Booker T. Washington loses 29.5 FTEs (from 58.5 to 29.0) or a 50.43% reduction.

Potential FTE (Full Time Employee) reductions by Campus version 2.02: http://www.dfpe.org/pdf/Studen...

JimS
JimS

Robert: my interpretation of the day's events is that we are all dangling on the end of Rick Perry's yo-yo string and nobody has any idea what is going to happen and I wish I had not attended this meeting. But I did have fun gossiping inthe back of the room with the press corps about Dwaine. Best lines were, 1) Reporter One: Well, we'll all know what happened two weeks from now, and 2) Reporter Two: I can't wait that long.

ScottsMerkin
ScottsMerkin

In this assumption, is the "rainy Day" fund a city fund or is that the states fund? If its the states fund, why on earth would they ASSume that 40.2 mill is coming. Mr hair has vehemently said we aint tapping no rainy day funds

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Borbor: You need to get your stories straight:

Public school teachers are "sucking on the taxpayer's tit for retirement and healthcare." So, why did you subject your kids to being taught by such lowlifes?

Your say kids "didn't suffer one bit" from staying in the DISD. Then you admonish other to "gut it out." If the DISD is so great, what is to "gut out"?

My guess is that you are a parent of kids from WT White, Hillcrest, Woodrow, or a Magnet -- all schools which have little to no behavior problems (comparatively speaking)and which have a solid core of well-to-parents that have the time and resources to make sure their schools are decent. On top of that, you probably made the calculation that keeping your kids in the DISD shields them from the more competitive nature of kids at the "uppercrust" privates schools you are so snarky about. Thus, you realize that your kids can tend more towards mediocracy and still be near the top of their class, whereas at a more competitive private school they'd be in the middle of the pack. Moreover, when college applications time comes around, your kids get to talk about their experiences coming up though a large urban school district and maybe bumfuddle the college admission people into thinking your kids overcame the trials of a Spruce, Kimball, Huett, etc.

Hey, I'm not knocking your ability to game the system to make things less competitive on your kids while padding your 401K. We all do what we can to give our kids a leg up. Just spare us the holier than thou-ness. Especially when you are giggling over the 401K.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Borbor:

Judging from the content of his/her posts here, DISD Teacher seems to be a teacher. But what is unquestionable is his/her dedication to improving the DISD for ALL kids. Some people sit on the sidelines lobbing grenades. Others are on the inside killing themselves to make things better. DISD Teacher seems to be in the latter, judging from his/her posts here.

Since you seems to have no qualms being snarky as to others, I won't pull any punches here.

Congratulations on all the money YOU are saving. I'm sure your darlings will be overjoyed that your nest egg is well padded. But some parents believe that the benefits that private school afford their children exceed having a few extra dracmas in the ol' 401K. I

I have children that have gone through and are also currently in the DISD system. I am concerned when my kids see a lockdown at DISD while the drug sniffing dogs come out. This is followed by kids as young as 13 or 14 doing the perp walk in handcuffs out the school. And I am shocked to see some of the explicit groping done in the stands at DISD High School football games.

While you are praying over DISD Teacher, I'm be praying that you will realize that somethings are more important in life than cheaping out on raising your children.

Preston Holler
Preston Holler

Borbor: You have a rare grasp of the conspirators mind. And your posts all focus on money -- how you can make money in fraudulent schemes, how your retirement accounts doing by avoiding private tuition.

You castigate DISD Teacher for allegedly having a "narrow world vision", yet he/she posts tirelessly here advocating on behalf of improving the DISD for ALL children... even those whose parents don't have retirement accounts to gloat over.

Does your "world vision" go beyond money?

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I just can't think of any other way for urban districts to starve the administrative python strangling the kids apart from vouchers.

And you know I agree with everything else you say. I wish you were our superintendent.

I am NOT "pro" vouchers-- I am anti status quo. I just don't see any other way.Whatever Perry gives up will consumed by administrators like Hinojosa and consultants like IFL.

I'm all about the kids. I hate test-prepping them to death. I hate how 2/3rds of them skip lunch bc the line is too long and the school board won't fix the attendance boundaries. I hate them watching 1 thug take down an entire class period of learning bc the school board won't set up multiple "behavior magnets" for these kids. I hate that they open old, torn textbooks with the F word on every page. I hate how they endure terrible teachers imposed upon good schools by corrupt friends/relatives at 3700 Ross.

As a private school parent, I can tell you it's a totally different world. A wonderful world of creativity and excellence and high moral standards where there is NO money for too many administrators and a bunch of worthless ideas that use the kids as lab rats.

I want that for my amazing students. I do what I can to lift them up, to encourage them, and to prepare them for the SAT (as it will be their ticket out of poverty), but now we're going to fire many of my coworkers and keep Claudia?

And I hate William McKenzie. What a mouthpiece for Edwin Flores. An old liberal who thinks it's liberal to keep the kids in gulags.

scottindallas
scottindallas

here's a thought experiment for you, take your voucher to St. Mark's, Jesuit, or Ursaline, you do with that idea what they'll do with your voucher. I trust you won't take me up on that challenge. The idea that vouchers would offer a real alternative are questionable at best. I'm not dead set against them, I just am skeptical. But, I'm eager for you to try and await your report.

I appreciate your points on challenges with corruption and too much waste in an oversized and bloated district. Here's an idea that might offer some sense of community that you said we need. What if we split up DISD into 4-5 smaller districts. We could keep common only those things that offer efficiency in scale all else would be divided evenly on a per student basis among the entire mega district. I know that would be unpopular in North Dallas, so perhaps they will simply split it apart. I think that would be unfortunate for South Dallas.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

What do you mean by IFL is probably on its way out?Don't tease me.Didn't Edwin say no-way no-how was IFL going away?

Michael MacNaughton
Michael MacNaughton

@trashtalkYou nailed it.One speaker said it best regarding the teacher evaluation "system" (PDAs + CEI - Certification = BS) ".... why are you just starting on this NOW? Why hasn't this been an ongoing discussion since the last RIF in May of 2009?"

Robert Wilonsky
Robert Wilonsky

That's the state's. And yes, Perry has said that time and again, but even Jim Pitts disagrees.

http://www.dallasnews.com/news...

And Perry has said: Don't do it. He hasn't said definitively whether he'd kill legislation that allows it.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

School attendance should be an option no an enforced obligation.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I completely would go for smaller districts but I have been repeatedly told by Dallas bigwigs that it is not possible due to race issues.

Even if we all keep paying taxes to DISD and only ask for the ability to control the hiring, firing, and per-pupil spending in the schools north of NW Hwy and west of Central, for example, I've been told it's a no-go. White north Dallas will be accused of leaving the poor and Black/Hispanic behind. Even if all other quadrants of the city have the same rules and per-pupil spending, people would claim unfairness. They rather be stuck with the shitty schools they have, I guess. South Dallas could keep the current superintendent and school board if that's what they want.

That leaves vouchers.

And, btw, MOST of my incredible DISD students would be an asset to any private school they chose. The only thing holding them--and their limitless potential--back is the ability to pay for private school. Vouchers would get many of them over halfway there.

Existing privates would NOT lower their tuition, but that wouldn't be necessary. Just the FEAR of losing those guaranteed federal and state dollars would kick urban districts into the mode of "customers" first. New privates would spring up, asking only for the amount of the voucher.

Demand is an amazing thing. Remember how we didn't used to have cell phones? And now we have dozens of companies and products to choose from? Sort of like grocery stores and cars? And clothing? Monopolies do not engender excellence. Think of Soviet Russia.

C'mon Scott--you are too contemplative to be scared into sticking with the status quo.Your other choice is a Dallas where few middle class families will live, where housing values decline as a result, and where there is zero sense of community or diversity. Dallas, like Manhattan, will be a city for the very poor or the very rich. And no trick-or-treaters. Go to the burbs on Halloween--it's the childhood we remember.

DISD is killing this city.

Oak Cliff Townie
Oak Cliff Townie

Has anyone actually seen the Rainy day fund deposit slip ?

scottindallas
scottindallas

There ARE other options, RISD. As I said, I'm not dead set against vouchers. What I can't get around is the costs of the structures and other costs that schools long ago paid for. Either the district will bankrupt, split up, achieving what you said can't happen in re-organization. I appreciate that it would be politically very difficult to pull off.

As to your crack about monopolies, these are difficult areas and there is essentially no example of privately provided education that was extended to all. Perhaps day cares are a better example of private provision for children than private schools. Just as with schools, the quality of day cares varies widely, money really matters and it's essentially impossible to effectively franchise the successful formulas. Comparisons to "Soviets" or communism aren't helpful either. We should learn that there are issues that will never be resolved, but will remain a struggle (Jihad in Arabic) that we must monitor. Good grief, what do we have MEN trying to fix what can't be fixed. The West generally has lost this notion, our hubris leading us to think that the solution is out there somewhere, someone's selling/lobbying for it.

Now Trending

Dallas Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

General

Loading...