DISD Trims Budget Here and There, Keeps Teacher Pay Flat

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The $1.15 billion 2012-13 budget approved unanimously by DISD trustees last night contained no real surprises.

We already knew the state was cutting $37 million in funding. The district opted not to seek a tax increase, so to compensate, the district trimmed $22.8 million, or about 2 percent, from last year's budget, which itself was 5 percent less than the previous year's.

The budget cuts spending in a variety of places. A reorganization of custodial services, the closure of 10 campuses, decreased outside legal fees, and the consolidation of non-campus positions will save a combined $19.6 million.

Much of the rest falls on the backs of current staff. Non-campus employees will get a pay cut of 1.76 percent and, while teachers' pay will remain flat, elementary class size will grow from 18 to 20 students per teacher.

The district will also spend $5 million on establishing a school leadership academy to train principals, a cost offset through the sale of school buses to Dallas County Schools.

Also, did Mike Miles mention he's saved $1.2 million in administrative costs?

That's the estimate, at least. The exact savings won't be known until Miles hires another eight executive directors and another cabinet member. And who knows? Maybe the chief academic officer drives a hard bargain.

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