"Success With Less": DISD to Consider Losing 300 Teachers to Save $18 Million in 2012-'13

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At this very moment, the Dallas independent School District's Citizens Budget Review Commission -- assembled in March to bring fresh eyes to a district budget in need of gutting, thanks in large part to Gov. Rick Perry and the state Legislature -- is meeting to discuss two proposals on the table intended to save the district a combined $29 million, which gets it close to the $37ish million it needs to cut by the coming school year.

One we've discussed at length: closing, or "consolidating," 11 campuses, among them the exemplary James Bonham Elementary. Also up for discussion: "Changing K-4 teacher ratio for staffing from 22:1 to 24:1." The present school year budget limits elementary-school classes at 22 students per teacher, with the caveat: "Cap of 24 in one class per grade." Fifth grade's ratio is 1:27; sixth's, 1:25. At the middle schools, it's 1:24; in the high schools, 1:26.

According to briefing docs prepared for this evening's meetings, titled "Preliminary 2012-13 Budget Overview: Success with Less," the district believes that restructuring that campus staffing formula will lead to the "reduction of 300 teachers." But DISD can't go to the new ratio without first getting a waiver from Texas Commissioner of Education Robert Scott, who more than likely would sign off on it without much delay. Matter of fact, says TEA spokesperson DeEtta Culbertson on November 18, the district submitted a waiver to jump class sizes in 45 classrooms spread throughout several elementary schools, including Burnet, Stonewall, Lakewood, Ervin, Hogg and Zaragoza. It was OK'd last week.

For this wholesale do-over, "the district would have to apply for a waiver from the commissioner," Culbertson tells Unfair Park. Countless other districts statewide have been doing it since the Legislature stripped billions out of public education. "Some have gone to 23:1; others, 24:1," she says. "There's no limit, except physical space and what parents will allow."

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13 comments
Pamelakripke
Pamelakripke

TFA teachers are overrated. They may be enthusiastic and free of family distractions, given their young age, but many seem clueless about child development, both cognitive and behavioral, let alone how to maintain order. Teachers who go through alternative certification programs after years spent working in other careers, which add expertise, knowledge and perspective to the subjects they teach, are required to pay fees during their first year to their alternative certification program (in my case, $4,000), as well as to the district for an in-school mentor ($600). First year salary is about $45,000, with a Master's; take-home amounts to about $30,000. Now, decide.

http://search.huffingtonpost.c...

Farfigknugen Steve Nicholson
Farfigknugen Steve Nicholson

Obviously many legislators have their kids in private school.  HAHAHAHA if you want a better education PAY FOR IT yourself !  and it is only your fault your poor!  2012 can't get here soon enough :)

zingnoo
zingnoo

These guys make a whole lot of sense dude. I mean seriously. Who thinks of this stuff.web-anon.tk

WW
WW

Johnyindallas..

That trolley car only runs every half hour..They need to get used to the "real world" ..

Slkj
Slkj

I like the part where we not only train the competition (TFA alums who then open up charters) and pay them while we do it!! in the drug deal circles that is called getting you on the comeback...its freaking out of this world...and soon when the state government allows charters to get public funds for building schools guess what the business community wins again..people gotta wake up TFA doesnt make financial sense unless of course youre TFA or the business community..

Johnnyindallas
Johnnyindallas

Well truth is that the student population of DISD isn't increasing and the population will still flat for the near future. I understand the feeling about Bonham closing. It may be an exemplary but is it also in a bad spot. My wife works about two blocks from there and the school sits between 2 busy streets and the trolley car makes it very dangerous for a school. It is also in an area that does not have many childern. That area is manly single people.

Diane Birdwell
Diane Birdwell

Ak them about the TFA draft contract that stipulates that NO TFA teacher will be cut----ASK THEM, Robert. it is in the draft contract, despite what they were briefed.....

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

I think we easily lose 300 teachers a year just through attrition. 

But we really need to lose 400-500 teachers, bc budget problems or not, we will hire 100 TFA teachers, pay them full salaries, and pay TFA a fee to provide them.

If we have to have crowded classrooms to pay the TFA fee, that's what will happen.

I like TFA and am glad they are here; we just need to be very honest about the cost involved and make serious cuts elsewhere.

I also wish TFA would cover its overhead expenses (the individual teachers actually pay the district for their certification; TFA does not certify them) through other means, rather than taking money from the poorest kids' pool of tax dollars.

If TFA supporters truly care about the kids in this district, they will  push the trustees to make big budget cuts in the off-campus departments so the money spent on TFA will not be spent at the expense of the kids.

DuckDuckGoose
DuckDuckGoose

zingnoo what the heck is that web-anon link in your message?

I ain't clickin' on it ... but it looks like a trap.

DISD Teacher
DISD Teacher

We ought to pay the TFA teachers the regular salary, but have them pay TFA's fee.

The teacher would pay TFA (or a donor could pay it on behalf of the teacher), whomever certifies them, and their mentor teacher.

StopDISD.org
StopDISD.org

DISD is proposing to close 3 elementary schools due to low enrollment each less than a mile away one being Eduardo Mata this school is only 14 years old, Mount Auburn and O.M. Roberts you may remember that O.M. Roberts was recently demolished after 2.6 million in renovations.

..wait a minute since  O.M. Roberts is only dust in the wind now isn't it already closed?  but, anyway DISD plans to build a brand new 22 million Roberts elementary anyway does that make sense?  IS DISD trying to be slick and build the new Roberts to close the other two? But why is DISD closing Eduardo Mata this is a new school? 

What?
What?

What trolley car runs down Henderson? And which is the other busy street, Manett or Mission? Sounds like you're talking about Travis Elementary on McKinney Avenue.

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