Massive DISD campus personnel cuts considered; read the school-by-school list here

I don’t want to bury the lead for this post: DISD’s prospective cuts, by individual school, were identified in a DISD document discussed last night on WFAA-TV. The DMN also offers its take on the list of cuts.

More on all of that in a few sentences.

As of right now, the whole public school funding fiasco in Texas is a story without any real facts — no one, including the Texas legislators who ultimately will decide how much money local school districts have to spend for the next couple of years, have any real idea what and when they will ultimately decide. All we know is that the state is billions in debt, and education funding is one of the biggest bags of money the legislators can partially unload to pay for other expenses that legislators don’t want to derail.

But the uncertainty in Austin isn’t keeping Dallas parents, educators and school district administrators from worrying, though, and who came blame them/us? When you’re talking about cutting DISD’s $1.2 billion budget by $200 million or more, you’re talking about some pretty serious cuts, no matter who ultimately gets the axe in the back of the head. Some of the ideas floating about: Cutting about 4,000 campus jobs, raising student/teacher class ratios at the high school level to 35:1 from the current 22:1 (look for the same relative changes in middle schools and elementary schools, too), reducing maintenance. Just about everything is on the table, district officials say.

None of this is DISD’s fault, nor the fault of any other Texas school district. But that doesn’t make pruning a budget by 15-20 percent any easier, particularly a highly political budget and particularly since legislators may not decide the actual amount of cuts until about the same time late this spring as school boards throughout the state are legally required to implement budgets.

So we’re seeing growing hysterics among some parents, who don’t know what to expect for their kids, and from some school district employees, who don’t know if they’re on the chopping block or not.

WFAA’s post sheds some light on DISD’s current, theoretical thought process. Check out the PDF of potential staff cuts to see for yourself, but here are a few excerpts (every school is on the list, but we can’t obviously list them all here). Remember: Everything on this list is simply one of many budget scenarios DISD is required to begin considering, and no decisions have been made by the school board yet because state legislators haven’t decided how much money local school districts will have to cut:

Adamson High School currently has 121 full-time equivalent (FTE) employees; after the cuts, the school would lose 33 FTEs, or about 27 percent of campus employees.

Greiner Middle School: Currently 144.3 FTEs, after the cuts 97.3.

Stevens Park Elementary: 65.9 FTEs to 57.9. Winnetka: 67 to 56.

The cuts are even more dramatic at some of DISD’s TAG and magnet schools: Booker T. Washington, 89 FTEs to 47; Townview Magnet, 149.7 to 30.2 (yes, that is about an 80 percent reduction).

There aren’t going to be any winners in this process, no matter how much money eventually is cut from campuses, administrators and wherever else a knife can be wedged in DISD. In fact, I suspect there will be quite a few knives being wedged into quite a few places, public and private, in the weeks ahead.

By |2011-02-21T23:30:34-05:00February 21st, 2011|News|3 Comments

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RICK WAMRE is president of Advocate Media. He also writes a monthly column and blogs about neighborhood issues. Email him at                                                  


  1. Rick Wamre February 24, 2011 at 10:47 AM

    DISD board trustee Edwin Flores sends along this clarification of the potential Townview cuts:

    “Just a little clarification for your story. Townview has 6 separate high schools that share a ‘pool’ of teachers between the six schools. The cuts are primarily to the shared pool of teachers. The 6 schools show few cuts at the larger schools and NO cuts at TAG and SEM. In other words, the 80% reduction at Townview does not take into account the total number of teachers for Townview because it does not add back the teachers of the 6 individual schools. Also, Townview has 7 principals plus an assistant or two, where a school like WTW (W.T. White High School) with the same total number of students only has one principal and 3-4 assistant principals.

    “Bear in mind that Townview had, to begin with, a lot more teachers than an equivalent school (e.g., they have 50 more faculty members in the aggregate than WTW or Molina, which have the same total number of students (about 2,400).

    “Just making sure the facts are clear because there is a lot of misinformation being spread about this very critical issue that will affect Dallas ISD from now on, that is, there is no way for the state to repair its challenges long term.”

  2. Kathi Allman February 24, 2011 at 10:30 AM

    There are several things citizens CAN do.
    1) They should contact their elected officials to share their ideas for saving money and voice their concerns about preserving education funding.
    2) Attend the DISD Board meeting to understand the discussions about budget cuts.


  3. KG February 24, 2011 at 10:11 AM

    Thank goodness for the cuts! We need to have our property taxes lowered or remain the same. My taxes pay for enough, it is time for the school districts to make due with what they have. They are the only people that recieve bonuses, 5% salary increases annually, and summers off. Considering how many people don’t even pay taxes, the one’s who work and make an honest living suffer. Maybe these people will be able to work a real job. Let’s delete half the administration, paper pushing secretaries, and old teachers that won’t retire. Bring in the new young people with an incentive program. Start them off at 35,000, and if they see the person can teach keep them. Get rid of the dead weight in the program, and that would probably cut out 100 million off the top!

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