DISD: A Hiring Freeze, Wasted Millions and a Missing Audit. Awesome.

Why is this man smiling? No, seriously.

Over on The Dallas Morning News' DISD Blog, Kent Fischer has posted a memo sent today from Kimberly Olson, the district's chief human development officer, to its executive leadership team and all district principals. In short, the district has instituted a hiring freeze, to commence immediately, for the 2008-2009 school year. Which means that the district's job fair, scheduled from 9 a.m. to noon on June 7 at Yvonne A. Ewell Townview Center, "has now been closed to outside participants," Olson writes. "The fair will only be open to DISD released teachers and Dallas AC teacher candidates for Math, Science, and Bilingual Education."

Which, as Fischer notes, is no surprise: Two days ago, he pointed out that the district's going to cut some $4 million from its budget "because of a shortfall largely due to declining enrollment." Though, really, it seems much larger than that: As Fischer noted on the blog on Friday, the U.S. Department of Education found a small fortune in federal grant money wasted by the district on such items as "several hundred" computers and text books never delivered to schools in need. (The total blown: more than $5 million, easily.) Then, of course, there's that missing audit. Apparently, the Road to Broad is paved with ... well, what's the opposite of good intentions? But at least there will be a federal trial, preceded yesterday by a guilty plea to one count to commit bribery and money laundering. --Robert Wilonsky

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Robert Wilonsky
Contact: Robert Wilonsky