Fed funds termination causing DISD, other districts, to lay off hundreds

Several hundred DISD employees — no word yet on who, where or when — will be laid off as federal stimulus funds used to hire them are terminated. The DMN reports that DISD hired almost 300 employees in 2009 thanks to $100 million in federal stimulus funds, but now that the two-year funding commitment is expiring, so are the jobs.

DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander told the News that at least some impacted employees work at DISD campuses. More information will be available as the employees are terminated over the next several weeks.

DISD isn’t alone in losing funding: Richardson, Plano, Allen, Irving and just about every other school district in North Texas and throughout the state are in the same difficult financial position. Dried-up federal funds, along with the state’s $20 billion-plus shortfall, makes budgeting for the next school year difficult. Early estimates indicate DISD could wind up with nearly $200 million less in state funding — the total DISD budget is about $1.2 billion.

Since the state budgeting process is in its early stages, however, we’re likely to continue reading about possible cuts through June or July of this year before final decisions are made.

UPDATE: Just noticed this story on the Dallas Observer‘s website; Robert Wilonsky talks with Dallas Supt. Michael Hinojosa about the potential cutbacks.


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