DISD budget screw-up: The wolves are circling

Yesterday’s Back Talk post about the looming DISD budget shortfall of $64 million was unbelievably prescient, if I do say so myself: I figured that a problem of this magnitude would open the door to board-room mayhem, with some of the trustees who have been biting their tongues ready to start talking again.

Today’s DMN piece on the problem, headlined with "Hinojosa says he’ll stay put" even though no one (other than perhaps the DMN editorial board) has said anything about him resigning, carried some quotes from trustees Ron Price, Carla Ranger and Lew Blackburn questioning what’s going on. No problem with them questioning the issue, for sure, and Hinojosa is obviously responsible for what’s going on at DISD.
The DMN’s editorial board opened the floodgates, too, with today’s editorial calling out Hinojosa and seemingly lamenting the group’s past support of him: "Dr. Hinojosa has had no greater supporter of his academic reforms than this editorial board. Continued chaos can’t be tolerated indefinitely. Another scandal like this, and the DISD board of trustees should consider changes at the top."

Given the size of DISD and given that 20,000 employees are working to educate 160,000 or so students, it’s always just a matter of time before the next "scandal" occurs — Belo’s Robert Decherd himself couldn’t run the district any better than Hinojosa. (And speaking of companies apparently not foreseeing financial shortfalls or making mistakes with budgeting, the DMN doesn’t exactly have clean hands when it comes to gazing into its own crystal ball, either, as evidenced by numerous rounds of layoffs and "voluntary" retirement packages.)

All of this still tracks back to something longtime Back Talk reader Kyle Rains has always said: DISD is too big and needs to be broken into smaller districts. If we’re going to start yelling at each other and pointing fingers now, why not go all the way and figure out a different way to govern the education of students here.

If Hinosoja can’t run the district the way it’s structured, I don’t think it can be done.


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