Dallas officials missed warning signs on budget woes

Nov. 24, 2008
District administrators caught unaware when huge deficit was discovered

Dallas school officials expressed shock as they announced in September that they had overspent last year's budget by $64 million, and were on track to run up an $84 million deficit this year. What caused the deficits? Current and former Dallas Independent School District officials acknowledge that they missed, or misread, recent warning signs that pointed to the district's precarious financial condition. Newly hired administrators failed to appreciate how deeply flawed the district's financial operations had become, while lower-level workers did little to bring the problems to their attention.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

EARLIER: The Dallas school district's projected budget deficits for this year and last will be less than expected, trustees. District administrators had projected a budget deficit for this fiscal year of $84 million. They now say that amount has been whittled down to about $75 million for various reasons, including unexpected state and local revenues. To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here. Dallas schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says that he has no intention of resigning, despite continued criticism of his administration by some school trustees and teachers. Three school board members – Carla Ranger, Lew Blackburn and Ron Price – have asked for an emergency meeting this week for a no-confidence vote on Hinojosa. The turmoil comes as the district struggles to rectify an $84 million budget deficit. Dr. Hinojosa's administration and the board have been sharply criticized in recent weeks for spending cuts and the dismissal of hundreds of teachers and other employees. To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here. FROM OCTOBER 2008: Two weeks after laying off hundreds of teachers, the Dallas Independent School District said Tuesday that it is rehiring 57 of them, filling vacancies created when more educators than expected retired or voluntarily resigned. To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

EARLIER: The Dallas Independent School District has fired 375 teachers as part of a massive layoff designed to help the school district avoid a projected $84 million budget shortfall. Campus by campus, they learned their fate Thursday in whatever manner their principals saw fit. Some fired teachers retained a measure of dignity; others had to pack up their desks in front of stunned students. In addition to the firings, officials say about 460 teachers have been transferred among district schools. Several hundred other district employees, ranging from clerks to assistant principals, also have been laid off in recent weeks.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

Texas officials have refused to approve a key component of the Dallas school district's plan to slash its $84 million budget deficit, leaving the fate of 300 employees in limbo. The district is looking to eliminate 1,100 jobs and save about $30 million, but have proposed saving 300 other jobs by using federal grant money to pay those workers. That would save the district an estimated $15 million in payroll costs. The Texas Education Agency has not ruled out the idea completely, but it told Dallas representatives that the U.S. Department of Education is the agency that would have to give the district a waiver to reallocate the grant money. The prospects for a federal waiver appear bleak. An U.S. Education Department spokesman says the No Child Left Behind law prohibits waivers of the sort the district is seeking.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

Nearly 1,100 Dallas Independent School District employees will lose their jobs this month under a layoff plan approved by the school board. On the chopping block are an estimated 550 teaching jobs, more than 400 of which are in "core" subject areas--math, science, social studies and English/language arts. An additional 500 employees--including teacher aides, hall monitors and clerks--also will lose their jobs as the district scrambles to curtail spending while trying to salvage educational reforms that have boosted achievement in many schools.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

Layoffs have begun in the Dallas school district. At least 160 central staff positions – from switchboard operators to administrators – have been eliminated, for a projected savings of up to $3.6 million. More than half the positions were vacant, but 63 were filled, and those employees got pink slips. The positions cut were for employees working without contracts, so the cuts didn't require school board approval. The cuts are part of the district's effort to fix an expected $84 million budget shortfall this fiscal year. Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has recommended that the district eliminate 1,209 positions – 675 of which are for teachers – and make other cuts to help close the budget gap.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

The Dallas school board has refused for the second week in a row to approve Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's plea to begin layoffs. Members say they want more details before they will consider letting teachers go. Hinojosa says the district needs to lay off 1,209 employees, 675 of whom are teachers. The board has urged the superintendent to look for other ways to save money, ranging from trimming more nonteaching positions to cutting back on school bus routes. Hinojosa says the teacher layoffs are inevitable if the district is to erase an estimate $84 million budget deficit.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

Officials in Texas have raised doubts about the Dallas school district's plan to erase some of its $84 million budget deficit by shifting the salaries of 300 teachers to a federal grant program. The district believes such a move is allowable, but the state contends that federal rules may prohibit it. The Dallas district hopes to use about $18 million in grants to avoid laying off 300 teachers. It also has proposed firing 750 teachers and employees.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

The Dallas Independent School District’s budget deficit, which could grow to $84 million this fiscal year, will force the district to cut about 750 positions, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says. To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

The Dallas Independent School District has appointed an interim chief operating officer, an indication that Superintendent Michael Hinojosa is replacing a key member of his administrative team. Also, schools and departments were instructed to submit proposals to cut 10 percent of their budgets. The moves are in response to news that the district overspent its 2007-08 budget by $64 million and that deep cuts are necessary.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

The Dallas Independent School District overspent its 2007-08 budget by $64 million, a recently discovered gaffe that will probably require deep cuts just as a new school year is getting under way. District officials attributed the overspending, in large part, to last year's hiring of an additional 750 teachers to reduce class sizes. The district, though, failed to adequately budget for the new teachers.
To read The Dallas Morning News article, click here.

Sponsored Recommendations

Providing solutions that help creativity, collaboration, and communication.

Discover why we’re a one-stop shop for all things education. See how ODP Business Solutions can help empower your students, school, and district to succeed by supporting healthier...

Building Futures: Transforming K–12 Learning Environments for Tomorrow's Leaders

Discover how ODP Business Solutions® Workspace Interiors partnered with a pioneering school system, overcoming supply chain challenges to furnish 18 new K–12 campuses across 4...

How to design flexible learning spaces that teachers love and use

Unlock the potential of flexible learning spaces with expert guidance from school districts and educational furniture providers. Discover how to seamlessly integrate adaptive ...

Blurring the Lines in Education Design: K–12 to Higher Ed to Corporate America

Discover the seamless integration of educational and corporate design principles, shaping tomorrow's leaders from kindergarten to boardroom. Explore innovative classroom layouts...