The Dallas Independent School District has launched a week of town hall meetings on the upcoming budget of more than a billion dollars.
Howard: Our current fund balance for all funds is $120 million. We’re…
The DISD’s Bryan Howard laid out the 2012-2013 budget to fewer than ten people who showed up at Lakewood Elementary School in East Dallas. After severe state education cuts, the $1.15 billion budget is $23 million leaner than last year. Ten DISD schools were closed to save more than $11 million, even though some new schools will open. Custodians have been cut. If one is sick, the work will just pile up.
Long-time DISD observer Sandy Moseley was frustrated by the salaries incoming superintendent Mike Miles will pay some top appointees.
Moseley: I think our new superintendent is getting off on the wrong foot in paying his people that he’s importing from Colorado these huge salaries.
Moseley was referring to the communications director Miles has hired, Jennifer Sprague will make $185,000, up from $85,000 in Colorado Springs.
Moseley: I’m sure that eventually our trustees will take the bull by the horn.
PTA parent Maria Hasbany has two children in the district, She was not concerned about executive-level salaries, but worries over the state’s drastic funding cuts.
Hasbany: Across all public schools in Dallas there is so much need, and seeing the need and hearing that the resources for fixing any of these problems is dwindling is really scary.
Trustee Mike Morath fears students may pay the biggest price for the state’s funding cuts.
Morath: Our overall level funding is somewhere in the neighborhood of $9,300 per kid. If you look at high performing private schools in the area – Hockaday, Episcopal School of Dallas,Good Shepard - those are all north of $18,000 a kid, some of them north of $25,000 a kid. So to provide a comparable education for half the resources is somewhere between difficult and a pipe dream.
Morath is confident administrators can successfully navigate through difficult budget waters. DISD budget town hall meetings are scheduled every night this week.