Turns Out, Buying a Scapegoat Is Much Cheaper Than You'd Think

The Dallas Morning News' DISD Blog has the severance agreement governing the departure of former Dallas Independent School Distirct chief operating officer Eric Anderson. The surprise for me was that Anderson accepted so little, a mere 15 grand, for taking such a terrible licking.

Anderson agreed not to speak ill of DISD in exchange for $15,000 severance -- about a month’s pay. But ever since his departure a month ago, DISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa has been dragging Anderson’s name through the mud; the guy's a scapegoat. Several times in school board meetings Hinojosa has suggested that the district’s current problems were caused entirely by one person “who is no longer in that position.”

Uh, gee. Who could that be? Hinojosa might as well give the guy’s initials.

But suppose we let all of that go as inside baseball and the fate of snakes who deserve each other. The really weird thing going on at DISD is that the district is sticking to its plan of laying off tons of teachers, even though it now knows the main rationale for doing it is not going to work.

This was all a scheme to shift a lot of the payroll to federal Title I grant funds. The state, which administers that money, has informed DISD that it’s grand idea is illegal. That’s not what the federal money is for.

In the meantime, a bunch of smart parents and faculty at Woodrow Wilson High School got together and came up with ways to save all the money without doing the Draconian teacher cuts, as we reported last week.

Hinojosa told the Woodrow parents to take their plan and “put it in your pocket,” because he was wedded to the idea of the great Title I scam. He thought firing the teachers would convince the feds to let DISD hire a lot of them back with federal money.

No way.

So the underlying rationale, however dumb it may have been to begin with, is now officially kaput. But are they going back to Woodrow and asking people there to pull their plan back out of their pocket? No, of course not, because that would entail a loss of face.

I hope they all wind up snake-bit from each other. --Jim Schutze

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