Dallas ISD's "Worst-Case Scenario" Not Nearly As Worst-Case As Originally Presented

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When Dallas Independent School District Michael Hinojosa initially told the school board last month about the coming budget cuts that could result in the district laying off 3,100 on-campus full-timers and some 600 at 3700 Ross, he warned that under the so-called "worst-case scenario," the losses could add up to $253 million -- which would amount to "losses on the order of 20%." The best-case scenario wasn't much better: $168 Million, a 10-percent cut and still more than 2.5 times the 2008 shortfall of $64 million caused, the district said, by over-hiring teachers.

As mentioned below, the trustees will be presented on Thursday morning with what the super's calling "Preliminary Budget Reduction Plan Version 2.0," after which the trustees will approve a resolution that will "Declare a Financial Exigency and the Need for a Reduction in Force Affecting all Positions." But when I went to the district's website a moment ago to look for something else related to the coming cuts, I saw this heads-up about Thursday's briefing:

The revised plan will reflect an anticipated $150 million decrease in funding from the state, which is an improvement over the Feb. 10 "worst-case" projection of $253 million. The revised $150 million plan (Budget Reduction Plan 2.0) is dependent upon several assumptions that will be discussed at the meeting.

Dallas Friends of Public Education's Mike McNaughton said as much in a comment posted Thursday to the item about the rally at Arts Magnet:

I hear that the Administration is backing off its worst-case scenario citing a $50M savings in the recent incentives that paid teachers to resign (this $50M "savings" is a delusion and may actually cost the district $7M and some great teachers if the cuts can be made largely without touching teacher's jobs in a "better-case" scenario); a possible 20% ($50M) payment from the rainy-day fund; a possible 10% improvement in the shortfall ($25M) after the comptroller adjusts the state budget numbers; and a probable $50M from a federal jobs bill. As Dandy Don Meredith used to say, "If wishes and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas."

McNaughton, incidentally, has been appointed by trustee Bruce Parrott to serve on the Citizens' Budget Review Commission, which is supposed to begin meeting this month. Anyway. I asked DISD spokesman Jon Dahlander if he could elaborate on the announcement. He writes: "The revised figure is based on a few assumptions that will be outlined on Thursday to trustees." And that, as they say, is that. For now.

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