Documents detail massive cuts at Dallas ISD schools

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by JONATHAN BETZ

WFAA

Posted on February 21, 2011 at 11:00 PM

Updated Tuesday, Feb 22 at 7:24 PM

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NEWS 8 EXCLUSIVE

 DALLAS — We already know the Dallas Independent School District has plans to cut more than 4,000 jobs due to the ongoing budget crisis.

News 8 has obtained a document that shows just how many employees each DISD school could lose, and the numbers are shocking.

Not every school will be affected in the same way. For example:

  • Molina High School will be losing 46 positions
  • Sunset High School is likely to lose 55 jobs.
  • Holmes Middle School is down for 35 positions
  • Jones Elementary will lose 14 employees

Jim Kipp's pride in his sons' Dallas school is now turning into panic. "They're basically proposing to shut down my kids' schools," he said.

In DISD documents confirmed by News 8, Townview Magnet Center — where Kipp's son goes to high school — would face severe cuts.

It is proposed that 119 jobs would be eliminated at Townview; that's nearly 80 percent of the staff.

"You simply can't run these programs with that few," Kipp said.

And Townview is not alone. For the first time, we're seeing how the Dallas school district's proposed budget cuts would affect individual schools.

Almost no campus is spared from the axe.

News 8 has learned that Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts could lose nearly half its staff.

At Skyline High, 171 jobs are potentially gone.

Greiner Exploratory Arts Academy, a middle school in Oak Cliff, is facing a 33 percent staff reduction.

Fannin Elementary in East Dallas could lose a quarter of its employees.

And the list goes on.

"It's very scary for our kids in the classroom," said Rena Honea, president of the AFT/Alliance teachers union. "That means larger class sizes... probably less resources."

Under the DISD proposal, high schools would suffer the most, but the magnets would likely feel the deepest cuts.

"That's because they've had so many more teachers than the other schools," explained Superintendent Michael Hinojosa.

Facing a quarter-billion dollar funding cut from the state, Hinojosa said he wants all schools staffed equally. "They're number one in the country, with 80 more staff members than Sunset or W.T. White, so Sunset would love to have those 80 staff members."

The superintendent points out that the outlined cuts would only kick in for a worst-case scenario, and that much can change over the course of the next weeks.

But parents like Jim Kipp fear that any changes could make an exemplary school anything but.

E-mail jbetz@wfaa.com

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