Two weeks back we noted that at least one person had already been appointed to the Dallas Independent School District's first-ever Citizens Budget Review Commission: Dallas Friends of Public Education's Mike MacNaughton. The commission, made up of trustee appointees, was a board brainstorm in an effort to find fresh eyes to pare down the district's 2011-12 budget that could be gutted by some $87 million or so, at least according to the latest guesstimate. My wife says DISD's "pulling a Dave," which'll make sense after you watch this. Anyway.
DISD Jon Dahlander sends word that the commission's done been commissioned, and the release that follows names all 10 members. They are, in no particular order: MacNaughton, Louisa Meyer (a name familiar to most local blog readers), Townview dad Jim Kipp, attorney Kenneth E. Walker, Warren Westmoreland, Jose Hernandez, Realtor Debbie Sherrington, Andrew Newman (who I believe is also an attorney) and Todd Williams, an attorney who helped raise the money for the building of Uplift Education's Williams Preparatory and is a noted district cheerleader.
DISD parent and real-estater Phil Montgomery -- who's also the chair of Uplift Education's board and served on Dallas Achieves -- is Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's appointee and will serve as the commission's chair. It begins meeting Monday and is supposed to get together "nearly every Monday until its work is completed," says the lengthy release, which follows in full.
Adds trustee Edwin Flores: "With a budget that could be anywhere from $76 million to $210 million less than last year's district budget, the commission's work will be helpful to both the administration and trustees. Because of the frequency of their meetings and their single charge, they will provide a fair and objective perspective from the community that will create a budget to meet the needs of all students in the district."
CITIZENS BUDGET REVIEW COMMISSION APPOINTEDA ten-member commission has been appointed to review and provide feedback during the creation of the 2011-12 Dallas ISD budget.
Will Provide Feedback During Creation of the 2011-12 Budget
The first-ever Citizens Budget Review Commission, made up of individuals appointed by the Dallas ISD board of trustees and the superintendent, will meet nearly every Monday until its work is completed, with its first meeting scheduled for Monday, March 21.
"This commission was formed to create a transparent budget process with citizen participation," said Superintendent of Schools Michael Hinojosa. "The development of any school year's budget is challenging but this year's process will be especially complex because of the expected decrease in revenue from the state. Their assistance will be helpful."
The chairman of the commission, appointed by Dr. Hinojosa, will be former Dallas ISD parent Philip Montgomery, a Dallas businessman with a long history of supporting the district. Other commission members, each appointed by a member of the board, include Jose Hernandez, Jim Kipp, Michael MacNaughton, Louisa Meyer, Debbie Sherrington, Andrew Newman, Kenneth E. Walker, Warren Westmoreland and Todd Williams.
"This group of citizens brings a wealth of experience and I am pleased that they will be able to take a deep dive into the district's budget," said District 9 trustee Bernadette Nutall. "As trustees, we will be very interested in their work."
"With a budget that could be anywhere from $76 million to $210 million less than last year's district budget, the commission's work will be helpful to both the administration and trustees," said District 1 trustee Edwin Flores. "Because of the frequency of their meetings and their single charge, they will provide a fair and objective perspective from the community that will create a budget to meet the needs of all students in the district."
Mr. Montgomery helped lead the 1985 Dallas ISD bond campaign, created and chaired the first advisory committee for the TAG Magnet and served on the Dallas Achieves Commission. He also oversaw the creation and growth of the Texas High School Project, served as a trustee for the Communities Foundation of Texas, which provided numerous grants to the district and has been appointed by two governors to serve on the board for two agencies, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and Texas Turnpike Authority. He currently serves as the Chairman of the Board for UPLIFT Education.
"It is an honor to be asked to help the district in a very difficult budget year," said Montgomery. "I look forward to working with the commission to keep our efforts focused on student achievement. I understand and recognize that the superintendent and board will have to make some tough decisions at the end of the budget process."
The commission's first meeting is set for Monday, March 21 at 5 p.m. in Room 105 of the district's administration building.
Keep the Dallas Observer Free... Since we started the Dallas Observer, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Dallas, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Dallas with no paywalls.