Before Dallas ISD Releases Two New Budgets, a Plea for Trustees to Save 42 Librarians

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School's out, but not for the Dallas Independent School District's trustees, who're meeting at this very moment (behind closed doors) before they look at two versions of the 2011-'12 budget -- what they're calling versions 5.1 and 6.0, which follow the iteration presented to the board on May 26 that projected $90 million in budget cuts and no further layoffs for the coming school year. Also on the board's agenda: an early look at TAKS results. We'll get to all of that as soon as the board comes back from its exec session.

First up, though, was a familiar face: Nan Dosker of the Dallas Association of School Librarians -- and my son's school's librarian. Dosker was there to protest the board's decision to cut 42 librarians from school campuses, per staffing formulas approved last month.

Right now, at least, the board has opted to go with one librarian at schools with more than 2,000 students, as opposed to two. And, till now, there has been one librarian on elementary school campuses with more than 250 students. The new formula says elementary schools with fewer than 500 students will only get a part-time librarian.

Dosker gave an impassioned speech begging the board to reconsider, insisting that its "decision takes away a campus professional who [directly] contributes to academic success." She asked the board to restore "42 positions to campuses that need their expertise as collaborators and educators" -- who are, as Dosker put it, "indispensable."

Then again, those staffing formulas could change when the numbers are released whenever the trustee emerge from their back room. I'll post as soon as they become available.
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6 comments
Discus Thedd
Discus Thedd

How about cutting some athletic programs and coaches? (O geez, a crowd is gathering outside my window...Torches are lit! Villagers are chanting!) (Literary reference to "Frankenstein, or The Modern Prometheus" by Mary Shelley, which a librarian could help a kid find....if a kid could read.)Yeah, kids don't need help around a reference library when they've got a video game to play.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

Take the money from the bloated Admin staff on Ross Avenue.  The money needs to be spent on educators who are face-to-face with the kids, not on three levels of administrators in charge of yadda yadda.

Yes the money needs to come from somewhere. But be smart about it.

Meh.
Meh.

Librarians are important. However, at the elementary level, students don't have free time in their day to go hang out in the school library, correct? It seems like class schedules could be coordinated so that one librarian could serve two campuses.I don't like job cuts at all, but the money has to come from somewhere. 

TimCov
TimCov

I agree that librarians are important. But, what do you want cut instead of librarians? Is it a few more teachers? Perhaps janitorial staff? Or maybe maintenance? 

The money has to come from somewhere. Unfortunately, a majority of voters has made it clear that they are no longer willing to pay the taxes for a decent education system.

trashtalk
trashtalk

There is an org chart of 300 pages for Dallas ISD.

Certainly among all those names of spawn of previous Dallas administrators, kinfolk, friends, sorority sisters, frat brothers, sons and daughters of administrators still on the payroll, there are enough names to put back 42 librarians.

300 pages. Pick one page or two or three and eliminate everyone on it. Put the librarians back.

Next day, let your fingers do the walking. Repeat. Citizens could do this for almost a year.

No one on campus would notice as long as payroll stayed intact.

Why the insistence that cuts come from campuses?

Try the old Depression era rules. Every household gets one check.Everyone on Ross related and inbred gets just one check.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

After the recent central office lay-offs, I can honestly say our campus didn't notice a thing.

That means none of the positions cut were necessary to educate children.

Our librarian is amazing and our kids need her and the whole school would notice her absence.

Cut every off-campus and athletic coaching salary over $100K by $10-20K and we could save several librarians without firing anyone.

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