Shame the Dallas Independent School District's board of trustees couldn't meet yesterday, when all the teachers and students were iced in and needed something to watch -- like, say, this afternoon's board briefing, during which trustees will get their first look at Superintendent Michael Hinojosa's proposed $260 million worth of cuts (or thereabouts) brought about by the state's $27-billion shortfall.
Watch here. I am.
Trustees are almost to the cuts. They're not quite there yet.
Which means you have a few minutes to read this plea for help, posted by the Dallas Friends of Public Education:
We Need Your Help!
Tell Us How DISD Can Keep the Budget Axe from Falling on Our Children
DISD is facing historic budget cuts, perhaps as much as $260 million, or 20% of the district's entire budget. Consistent with our mission, DFPE will be advocating strongly to protect students from these deep cuts. That means finding ways to cut administrative overhead rather than classroom teachers and supplies. We want to identify every administrative budget that should be cut - everything from the outright wasteful to the "nice but something we can live without" - before classroom budgets are cut. To do this, we need your help. We need the help of the public, parents, taxpayers and the many veteran DISD teachers and staff who know which administrative functions are necessary and which are not.
Please send us your suggestions. We will consider every one. Be as specific as you can. Tell us whether the program should be reduced, eliminated or outsourced. Any briefly tell us why. If you can, tell us the exact name of the program, where it shows up in the district's budget and how much money could be saved. (A copy of the district's budget can be found here.) When we have completed our review, we will publicize our recommended budget cuts. If you have provided an email (not required) we will send you the information and notice of our public budget meetings. DFPE will hold two public meetings during the last week of April and the first week of May to gather public input to present to the DISD Trustees and Administration. Plan to be there!
To the comments? Momentarily.
Update at 2:02 p.m.: In the comments you'll see what the super is proposing -- for starters, laying off 3,100 campus employees and 800 non-campus employees. Also mentioned: putting as many as 35 to 50 to even 60 students in a single classroom. "The new reality," as the super calls it.
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