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Two Days Before DISD Board Votes on Staffing Formulas, a Discussion About Interim Super

Cowan and Hinojosa with 2011 Outstanding Elementary School Volunteer Award-winner Maria Amaya last month
Cowan and Hinojosa with 2011 Outstanding Elementary School Volunteer Award-winner Maria Amaya last month
Photo by Todd Overman/Dallas Independent School District

Michael Hinojosa is in Georgia today for a 4:30 p.m. meet-n-greet with the citizenry of Cobb County, most of whom appear happy to be taking the Dallas Independent School District super's off Dallas's hands. Twenty-five hours later, the DISD board will meet for the first time since Hinojosa's almost-adios for a called board meeting. There is but one item on the agenda: "Discussion of Process for Selection of Interim Superintendent."

It's the start of a busy week for the trustees, who also have before them a FY2012 budget workshop, a discussion of the audit and an early look at financials, a public hearing to discuss closing both Barbara M. Manns High School and Otto M. Fridia Jr. Alternative High School and a regular ol' board meeting, where the board will more than likely approve these jumps in class sizes and reductions in personnel to accommodate the looming budget cuts, which the Texas Tribune guesstimated on Friday will now run closer to $112.3 million.

Schutze has something to say on all of this; he'll be along shortly. But till then: We heard Friday from Carla Ranger, who wants Hinojosa out immediately. Later that same day Eric Cowan took to his blog, insisting that he could tell the super wanted out before he made it public. Perhaps. But Cowan, unlike Ranger, is among the five trustees who voted last September to give Hinojosa a contract extension -- the result, trustee Bruce Parrott told Unfair Park on Thursday, of "pressure from the [Dallas Regional] Chamber and the Citizens Council." Here is what Cowan has to write about why he did what he did last fall, when it looked as though Hinojosa was leaving for Las Vegas:

The vote on his contract extension was hardly a vote of confidence from the entire Board, and the Superintendent realized this. My vote was a vote for time and the belief that a stronger relationship between the Board and the Superintendent would lead to a better District. I saw the manner in which the Clark County District (Las Vegas) was able to replace their Superintendent of five years with a thorough, proactive interview process. I saw a unified Board with a driven purpose. I believed that Dallas deserved the same, but we had a lot of work to do internally to make this an attractive job for an A+ Superintendent candidate. We are on our way, but, unfortunately, the Superintendent has put us in the position again of reacting to a change in executive leadership.

Read the whole thing here .


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