Shortly after The News broke the news that Dallas Independent School District Michael Hinojosa is a finalist -- perhaps the sole finalist -- for the top job at the Cobb County School District outside of Atlanta, I asked DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander if there would be a statement forthcoming. His response: "No." Which is the exact opposite of what happened last September, when word got out that Hinojosa was a finalist for the Las Vegas gig. He didn't say much. But at least it was something.
Not this time.
This time we'll have to wait till 6 p.m. C.S.T., when the Cobb County School District -- whose school board only recently had to explain itself in front of a grand jury -- live-streams its meeting, during which it will say whether or not Hinojosa's a Georgia peach.
Several trustees are furious, including those who voted for and against his five-year contract extension but eight months ago -- back when the super insisted, "My heart is in Dallas" and, "My name is off the market, absolutely it's off the market, so don't call me."
Turns out, that was very far from the truth. When Cobb County officials contacted him two weeks, as sources say happened, Hinojosa didn't say no. Instead, he flew out there Sunday. And he finds out today if he got the job.
"The whole thing's pretty disingenuous," says District 3 trustee Bruce Parrott. "We got pressure from the [Dallas Regional] Chamber and the Citizens Council for the board to extend his contract, and I told them at the time it was premature. My question is: How does the business community feel? But this doesn't surprise me. I had a feeling that as the board evolved, especially with the [new] people there, that there's more of a chance he will be held accountable. But this soon? That's the only thing. I figured it would be months before any of this went on."
Parrott says he's spoken with at least one other trustee, whose sentiment he boiled down thusly: "Don't let the door hit you in the ass." I've been unable to reach that trustee to confirm. I also can't reach Edwin Flores, who rather famously said last go-round that Hinojosa's "a hot commodity .. a rock star."
Of course, if Hinojosa does ditch, he'll do so right before the district's forced to layoff more than a thousand district employees, including close to 300 teachers, in the wake of the $120 million in budget cuts project at last week's board meeting.
"I thought it would have been nice if we could have gotten through this budget crisis," Parrott says. "That's my biggest concern. I would like for him to have the same attitude."
The News is reporting that Hinojosa would make $208,000 in Georgia, more than $100,000 less than he's making here. What it doesn't say is he'll receive around around $180,000 annually though the Teacher Retirement System of Texas, on top of his new job's salary.
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