Saturday, February 14, 2009

The U.S. Department of Education has turned down Dallas ISD's request to move about $15 million in salaries to the Title 1 federal grant program. These salaries are primarily associated with paying coaches for teachers in the district and to reduce class sizes in middle and high schools, which is a part of Superintendent Hinojosa's Dallas Achieves initiative.

When the district's budget came up short last fall (84 million), administrators proposed paying those salaries with Title 1 money which the district receives to improve the educations of low-income kids. There is a process for using those funds and the district did not follow it. Federal money comes through the state to local school districts and can only be used to "supplement" local efforts.

While the district says it is done with the fight, I do not believe them. They will come back another ways as they always do. They seem to be baffled that they were turned down by the feds. They say that they consulted several experts on Title I who advised them that the move was allowable.

I guess now they will just take that money out of the fund balance and leave the district crippled with about 30 million left in that fund. When Hinojosa got here there was about 120 million. I hope nothing bad happens because the district will be in a pickle.

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