It would now appear all but certain Dallas Independent School District Michael Hinojosa is out the door, joining his Fort Worth counterpart Melody Johnson, who surprised her board today with a resignation letter of her own. We'll know for sure soon enough. Watch it live, after the jump. If you dare. Or care.
I finally spoke with trustee Edwin Flores, who, when Hinojosa was looking to leave for Las Vegas last fall, told me the super was "a rock star" and a "hot commodity" who'd done a good job. Today he's less gung-ho. He said Hinojosa told him about the job in Cobb County "a while ago," meaning earlier today. Flores, one of the five trustees who voted to give Hinojosa that five-year extension in September, said he was "surprised." I told him his fellow trustees sounded angry, betrayed. Flores said, "That's not unreasonable."
And then he said, "We need to move forward. It's out of our hands. It's somebody else's decision to make. So you say, 'We move forward.' We have to find a search firm. This happens in business all the time. People all over the country are doing this right now. If we were the only ones I'd say, 'What's wrong with us?' But if you look at how many people are in the middle of a supe search, my guess is, especially among the urban districts, that's a pretty big number. That's the nature of the beast."
Yes, I said. Fine. But to leave now, in the midst of a financial exigency, as more than 1,000 employees await their pink slips ...
"I would agree," Flores said. "It's never a good time, but as we go firming up and getting close to what this budget's going to be, it would be good to have our budget in hand before ..." He paused. "But we have good people looking at finance, our citizens commission will turn its stuff, and we're almost there."
Flores will not watch the Cobb County live stream tonight. Hell leave it to the media to let him know what happens. I asked if, somehow, Hinojosa doesn't get the job there, how will be be able to stay here? Has his willingness to interview elsewhere, when he said he wouldn't, done irreparable damage to his relationship with the board?
"I don't know," he said. "There are nine different people who can answer that question. We'll cross that bridge when we get there. One way or the other. Nobody wants to be in a superintendent search. They're not fun. It disrupts the operations of the district."
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Yes, I said. They're expensive. And time-consuming. And often contentious.
"All of the above," he said. "But it's not in my control. So you deal with it. You move forward. That's the way you do it in business. Whether my feelings are hurt or not, that's not important. You put that aside and move forward."