Dallas ISD Pay Cuts and Pay Freezes

The sheer notion that the Dallas ISD would ask voters to approve a $1 billion dollar plus bond package for new schools and then turn around and say we don't have enough money to pay our most experienced teachers and our support professionals is absolutely ludicrous! The Dallas ISD also is proud to pound their chest about the number of "Exemplary" and "Recognized" schools going up. Well, ladies and gentlemen, who made that possible?

Seems that the people in the schools and the classrooms EVERY day should be the ones to be rewarded. In this convuluted system, however, seems that they are the ones who will NOT receive the reward. Experienced teachers will lose up to $5000 from their salaries next year (and they've already signed their contracts!) and the people who make sure the schools run and our chidren are fed won't receive a salary step. All of this from an Administration and a Board who wants the Dallas ISD to be the "Best Urban School District by 2010".

NEA-Dallas is asking every teacher who receives Longevity Pay and every Support Employee who will not receive a salary step under this dastardly proposal to participate in our 4-Step Plan to "Save Your Salary"! Step one is to write an old-fashioned letter to the Trustees. Step Two is to email the Trustees. Step Three is to call the Trustees. And, Step Four is to join us in picketing the Dallas ISD Administration Building for the Board Briefings on June 12 and the Board meeting on June 26.

To receive more information on how to get involved and show the Trustees and the Administration that they all won't be off on vacation "at Padre", all anyone has to do is call the NEA-Dallas offices at 214-821-2061.

Salary Freezes and Reductions

Where is the complaint? DISD are some of the highest paid teachers in the state. If they were smart, they would see this as a ploy for the union to increase their membership.

Some of the support staff earns over $30K a year with only a high school education. Again no complaint.

However, the superintendent and district administration earn unconscionable salaries that do not any way shape or form reflect the lack of results of improving the education system. This website has done more to highlight the problems with the district than any other source. Yet, despite post after post of the problems, the administration just ignores them or at least provides a lame post by the superintendent that has more to do with covering up the tagging than addressing the issue directly. Hiring gang consultants could be covered by a web posting or just asking the students, because they will readily tell a teacher if they belong to a gang and more importantly why. Instead give the teachers the freedom to talk to the students frankly. Never mentioning drugs, sex, violence and other acts, just masks the problems and makes the teachers walk on egg shells or stick their heads in the sand.

What I find so appalling is that the superintendent failed to even meet with teachers that know of the problems and give them a chance to share their stories before making a decision. Instead, so called experts come forward with yet another plan that is doomed for failure and wasting more money.

Gang members act out animal instincts driven by fear and dominance. Like a dog (dawg), they mark their territory, bark when fearful or to sound an alarm, bite based on aggression, will do what it takes to eat, will travel in packs, dislike being restrained, sniff each other out, scratch when they have fleas and run when they do something wrong in order to avoid punishment. Put the dog on a leash, take him for a walk, feed him NUTRITIONAL food daily, give him a bath, train him, correct him using a deep tone of voice and love him using a higher pitch tone and take time to play. You eventually will bring the child out of the dog. Absurd we make people get a license to have a dog, but not a child.

I did not see not one dollar being spent on parenting classes before the hardship of child rearing or conflict resolution. I did not see any mechanism of compensation for where a student goes rouge and harms their mentor. I did not see where students would be responsible for painting over the tags. I did not see any money for after school activities that are of interest to gang members (believe it or not they are interested in less structured multimedia, music, writing, sewing, designing, art, woodworking, auto mechanics or learning a trade as opposed to structured band, drama, chorus and sports). I did not see any out reach to parents or guardians to become involved in the process. I did not see any 12 step programs for parents or gang members.

Therefore, I believe the salary freeze is the prudent thing to do on behalf of tax payers considering the budget shortfall. However, I also believe a salary reduction from downtown should be forthcoming to pay for the necessary steps that need to be taken to confront the gang problem. These problems have been ignored for too long, unfortunately dress codes, badges, metal detectors and golf carts do very little to curb the problem. The gang awareness staff development was a joke. It was more about signing off that you attended then giving practical advise, issues, resolutions and referral sources.

Bond Money

I see exactly where that new billion bond went to: straight into the pockets of administrators and executives. I find that in their greedy haste they forgot to cover up their trail when they said they had no money whatsoever, to raise the salary of teachers. In such an economy as ours this modern day, money is in high demand. As a student, I am constantly aghast by all of the corruption in the world, and a school, is by no means spared by any of this corruption.

Any who...so where did all of that money disappear off to Mr. Superintendent. My! What a gorgeous car you have. Good paint job...

Everyone Needs a Raise

How dare u say we are among the highest paid and we dont deserve a pay raise!!!! We put up with more BS from principals, that jerk downtown, specialist and parents. Almost every other year DISD wants to try something new and guess who they experiement on... US!! I think I work hard for my money because half of the time I spend it on my students. The insurance that we have is a joke. I am single and have no children yet I pay almost 250 for insurance. If I had a child, I would have to pay $500 and that's not including dental.

My school does reach out to parents. We have had several parent meetings for parents come to the school. However, most parents are not interested, do not attend or feel they are experts on raising their child. In fact, I had a learning sessions for parents to help their children at home. However, out of 19 students only 3 parents returned for the meeting. This was after weeks of sending home reminders and invitations for parents to attend. My team members thought that it was funny!!!

As far as gangs are concerned, I think DISD should try what Joe Clark did....get rid of the gang members. They dont wanna be there so send them to where they want to go....the streets.

I think the bilingual teachers should have their stipends cut in half in order to help the budget. Everyone else is losing out except them and I think its high time they give back. We cater to our spainish speaking students, parents and teachers. They should lose half or all of their stipends for the year. I work just as hard as they do maybe even harder yet I reiceve no extra cash in my check.

My mother as been a teacher's assistant for more than 30 years. My mother is alway volunteering and helping out at school. When she not at school, they are constantly calling for her. I know of many of the former students from her school who have said "thank you for giving me lunch money, combing my hair or for being my mom after she passed on". Yes, there are some TA's and teacher who are not doing their job but let's not punish the ones who are on duty 24hrs a day.

Who Does The Work? Huh?

The bottom line for any board member is to ask is "Who is doing this job?" The teachers and those directly related to the teachers job - librarian, counselor, assistant principal. These people do the work of increasing the amount of schools that are recognized or exemplary. I'm sorry but support staff works for the principal who tend to get in the way most of the time - some are good, but most want to take credit for what is the teacher's credit.

You had better give the teachers their cost of living raise and a step or you are going to see the district take a step back...and no CEIs, or bonus checks are going to do the trick for you. You had better reward the teachers or see what happens. Its plain psychology, if someone works hard and achieves something but there is no reward to follow, then the next step without reward will be that working hard will cease since the workforce is conditioned to work only for rewards.

Teachers Teach

Ok so teachers do teach the kids and that is the business that we are in. However, without the support employee's that business will be very interesting.

Lets get rid of the custodial staff..teachers are responsible for cleaning their classrooms and taking out the trash and waxing the floors and dusting the room. Hope no one gets sick in class, then you can clean the vomit up too. In addition the principal will need to coordinate the rotation of teachers who will clean the bathrooms.

Next who will answer the phones, coordinate the budget, set up teacher appointments, complete the necessary paperwork to send those bad kids to Village Fair.

Course, then which one of those teachers will issue the tickets to those students who need them, make the arrests of offenders on campus, or legally carry a gun so, heaven forbid, there is an active shooter on campus.

Teachers teach, and it's an honorable profession. However without those support employee's it will be even harder to teach.

Hiring Freeze

While the Board of Trustee's try to find ways to cut jobs while freeze hiring, now they are trying to decide what to do with those schools that have been identified as low performance. How long have these schools been in this situation and all the district have attempted to do was put a bandage on the problem. Now they are talking about moving approximately 900 students from Spruce to Madison and Lincoln High Schools. With a districtwide hiring freeze, to include the police department, this movement is a timebomb waiting to explode. Moving these students will cause more problems than when Wilmer-Hutchins and Katrina students combined entered DISD schools.

Teachers Least Appreciated

It is sad that the people who support the teachers and campuses, and the people who actually stand up for the rights of the students, are the very ones least appreciated in this district. It has been said that those of us who look out for the rights and welfare of the special education students in this district are not really needed. I have volunteered many times to forward my phones and email to anyone in the upper two levels of the administration. I personally interface with students, parents, teachers, and principals. When they are having problems working with a particular child with a certain high profile disability, they call me. They want me to decide how to handle the child. Most campuses want to get rid of the child, so I become that child's advocate. And then to show their appreciation for often keeping the district out of court, the thanks I get are threats about clocking in and out on time, no air conditioning in my 82 degree office, elevators that are unsafe and the inspection certificates are more than one year old, no pay raise, and threats about cutting positions.

The only reason I stay here is I believe I can help this particular special education population. I know there are teachers out there who should be fired. They are uncaring and have been negligent with our students, but they continue to have jobs and get raises. I am tired of hearing catch phrases like, "student centered," and we are doing this for the children. That is so far from the truth when you witness the inequity and uncaring attitudes in the schools throughout the district.

Salaries

DISD wanting to cut salaries is unbelievable!! The billboards that have been put up lately asking the public to support DISD and make it the best Urban district are a joke. How can we support the DISD when they refuse to support the most important piece of the puzzle, the teachers. The teachers are the heart and soul of the district and the trustees/those who support the longevity pay cut should be ashamed of themselves. Look at all the wasteful spending on Ross Avenue...

DISD Audit

Help me understand....How can competent administrators project 1 million dollars for an audit, (which I feel was intentionally delayed because of the bond election), and then discover that the audit will cost twice that much? DISD seems to be continuing its history of financial mis-management. Are DISD administrators 'highly qualified' for their positions? I think not!

[Ed Note: I don't think it was intentionally delayed. I think the DISD staff was not able to come up with the needed data for Deloitte. Rumors are the report will be scathing.]

Deloitte

How much of the data that Deloitte gets is genuine data. I read the the emails are "scrubbed" before released from a request via the open records act. How do we know that Deloitte is given all the "correct" data and that their final report is based on EVERYTHING that was given to them? I am a Dallas taxpayer and I haven't trusted DISD for years!

[Ed Note: Part of an audit is comparing things to other things and seeing what does (and doesn't) add up. So "scrubbed" data would have to be scrubbed across multiple horizons. That would imply organization that Deloitte was unable to find.]

Masters of the game

I want to post a bit of statement, although taken out of context it really is today's status for people who work with tax payer money these days:

"...we face opponents who've become masters at gaming this broken system."

We need to ante up some of our own "masters" and change the game to: take back our control, and quick!

Save Our Salaries

Please go to www.neadallas.org and view the front page for ways you can get involved.

I invite all professional and support staff to let the administration know that freezing and cutting our salaries is unacceptable!!

District leaders have been touting gains in TAKS scores and yet they are freezing or cutting the salaries of the people who helped produce those gains. It's not right!

Join us in June and together we can work for pay raises for the ones who truly carry out the mission of this district!!

Kathy Brothers
Vice-President for Teacher Affairs
NEA-Dallas

Be Careful What You Ask For

One better be careful what they ask for. They have already said that there is a budget shortfall and if people force their hand they will just start a Reduction in Force and eliminate some of those support positions along with Central Staff....

Being Careful

You're right. Something worse may happen, like more staff elimination, but should fear keep people from getting involved in things that they know are just and rightous. Columbus would have not discovered America if he were afraid to act. No slavery abolished. No civil rights movement.
This would not be the greatest country, if we were too careful what we asked for.

Pay Raises

You can't be serious! You are comparing us not getting pay raises to slavery or the discovery of America....

You know a wise man (me this afternoon) pointed out that it's better to have a job that doesn't give you a pay raise, than to not have a job at all....

[Ed Note: But you can be your own boss and work from home!]

RIF the Top People

Cut the ones who needed waivers to work in DISD but need to live somewhere else. At $4 a gallon for gas, I am sure they can find a comparable job in another district. They are among our highest paid, as well. Cut one of them, save 4-5 other jobs.

Careful What You Ask For

And what caused this budget shortfall?
1. It can't be all those contracts to folks to do the same job that DISD folk do (ie-Computer Techs)?
2. Having to replace stuff that STUDENTS have trashed instead of making the student pay for it?
4. Not going after all those folks that abused the P-Cards that resigned and got away scott free?
5. How about not firing all those folks that have been busted for grade changing or dumping private student records? You suspend them and they STIll keep collecting a check.
6. Not going after all these school district hopping kids and making them come back to DISD. I'm sure some of DISD students are in Lancaster, Cedar Hill, Mesquite, Duncanville and Desoto ISD.
7. Not making better attempts to get kids to attend school. How many schools have 1,500-2000 kids and more than 100-300 don't attend school on a daily basis?
8. Not doing a better job of keeping track of kids that get locked up and the school doesn't find out until months later when the kid returns. Guess what that kid was on to different school (DISD & Brown School) rosters.
9. How many kids vanish while getting sent to Village Fair? How many vanish after leaving Village Fair?

And to sum it up-if you don't give something of a raise to DISD teachers and staff-is the school board really willing to face the public when that first parent vents about their child being taught by a some uncertified person because of a lack of teachers?

No Raises for Support Employees

It is interesting to note that Associate Principals in the McKinney ISD, a much smaller district than DISD earn $103,000 per year whereas those in Dallas max out at just over $80,000.

Not giving a raise puts us that much far behind. If you check Irving, Richardson, Garland, Plano and other districts you will also find that their salaries for Assistants and Associates are also much higher than Dallas, How to we ever expect to keep qualified people to assume the jobs as principals from assistants if we do not pay these people the equivalent to neighboring districts.

[Ed Note: Some earn quite a bit more too.]

No Pay Raises?

Dear Teacher or Educator,

Please, please, either check your spelling or don't complain about a raise when you post your complaint with that poor example. I'm just thinking, from an unbiased opinion, that perhaps the raise would be more forthcoming if it was warranted. As a business owner and previous employer I can only recite; "As you sow shall you reap".

Maybe there should be a bonus for the correct spelling employee.

Increase Teacher Pay

I often come to this blog just to catch up on the board meetings and the sometimes humorous as well as appalling statements from the community. I am concerned with the salaries our highly qualified, dedicated, hard working, over looked, disrespected, abused teachers are collecting as a means of income. Therefore, I researched the salaries for new hires and those who have completed at least 10 years in Dallas including some of the neighboring districts.

Duncanville ISD $41,000 new teacher to step 10 $46,602
Lancaster ISD $42,100 new teacher to $45,201
Plano ISD $43,148.70 new teacher to $46,185.93
Garland ISD $43,500 new teacher to $45,546
Grand Prairie ISD $43,500 new teacher to $46,495
Dallas ISD $43,500 new teacher to $51,150 (11 years)
De Soto ISD $43,700 (08-09) new teacher to $46,500
Richardson ISD (08-09) $44,000 new teacher to $46,875
Arlington ISD $44,000 new teacher to $45,750
Cedar Hill ISD $44,500 new teacher to $46,981
Ft.Worth ISD $44,500.39 new teacher to $47,855
Mesquite ISD $45,000 new teacher to $47,361
Irving ISD (08-09) $46,400 new teacher to $48,400

As I viewed the data, I first thought, “Hmm Dallas teachers start out low, but in about 10 years they will surpass all the others.” Not bad, right? Well, I guess I should consider the occupational hazards some Dallas teachers face, just to name a few, like: working in dilapidated buildings filled with RATS & other pest, abusive students & parents, lack of toilet paper (I guess they have to bring their own), little to no A/C, non-working technology (computers to copiers), gang fights, negative media coverage (often true stories), and then there’s the administrators.

After I pondered a little bit more I began to realize that our teachers’ salaries started to decrease. As I continued to allow my mind to wonder about them, I thought. “How many of them use their own money to buy supplies?” I know they are reimbursed with that $250, but after taxes it probably looks more like $150 and feels like $5. I know teachers that have bought all of their students school supplies, paid for field trips, uniforms, lunches, and still try to make their classrooms look warm & inviting as a place where students can learn despite the smell of rat urine & feces that fills the air or the rotten holes in the floors or walls.

Well, those salaries have shown to be more of a deficit. I know someone is going to argue those problems exist in other districts also and show little concern for these teachers. Here’s a thought for you to ponder, would you trade places and do a better job?

Most Dallas teachers deserve a pay increase. Why can’t they have salaries like doctors? They’re developing the brains of our future. How about salaries of some of those top lawyers? They’re filing motions of intellect in the minds of tomorrow. Can they receive the salary of a top entertainer? Our great teachers are forever performing. Dallas teachers deserve more and Dallas needs to give them more! Increase those salaries before we loose our best to the suburbs like we did with some of our students.

Cut Bilingual Stipends & Keep Longevity

Bilingual teachers are given a $4,000 stipend regardless of their experience while teachers with 15+ years are being penalized.

It seems unfair that DISD recruits far and wide for teachers that speak Spanish (regardless of their English speaking abilities)and ignores those that are already here in the district giving their all to the students of Dallas.

[Ed Note: One thing for sure... this is certain to get a few responses!]

English as First Language

How about this? What about the teachers and administrators in DISD who's first language is English but are as fluent as anyone else in Spanish. There are several documented cases were these individuals are denied stipends and positions.

Supply and Demand....

Bilingual teachers and other hard to fill positions deserve more pay. Doesn't the real workforce work this way.

For example, I know many talented Social Studies Teachers that would make more money as Lawyers, Doctors, etc... But they choose to fill positions that are not high in demand; therefore, some may say unfortunately, they get paid less.

Stipends

Lets put the Bilingual stipend in context. Other 'hard to fill positions' are paid significantly lower stipends. Special Education is also an area that is difficult to staff and these teachers are only paid a $500 stipend per year.

Bilingual Stipend

We can't get a raise but we are able to give stipends??? How is that possible. Can't DISD cut that stipend in half so that others can get a piece of the pie? Surely our billingual teachers would agree to that......

And what about this money from a BOND. The voters should come to these schools that have been renovated to see how far that money went. I have a relative that works at school where the new tile is falling off the wall. They didn't paint the classrooms. Her kindergartens are using a restroom where most of the tile is not on the floor. That's money that the district is wasting on BS!!!!!!

Stipends

Many definitely agree that the Bilingual stipend is significantly higher and causing a shortfall in funds needed elsewhere. Yet instead of bringing it down, the stipend keeps increasing. Maybe this is because the district cannot maintain the bilingual employees it recruits. With empty promises of helping that teacher with the move from another country, the supposed continuous support it provides during the transition, the vague and incomplete instructions along with mistreatment. The teacher gets paid, leaves and we are stuck filling that position again and with an even larger stipend.

$4000 Stipend for Bilingual Educators

That is stipend for bilingual teachers. It is hard to find folks that are qualified that speak English and Spanish.

$4,000 Stipend

In many cases that $4,000 stipend is given to teachers who aren't capable of speaking grammatically correct English. I would argue that ESL certified teachers who are native English speakers would serve our growing ELL population more effectively.

Everyone a Stipend?

Surely this issue can certainly go back and forth for a very long time? The district(DALLAS) seems to make too many concessions for people who come from other countries,(Rule of thumb you tend to get more help if try helping yourself first). Without being too nasty. If the rest of us who are asked,or not asked to roll up our selves, and pitch in, why can't those of you who can translate just do it when a need arises? Fair enough? Better YET Mr. Hinojosa, why don't you take a big cut from your FAT salary and lavish benefits? Maybe next time the board,will consider a superintendent who really has a passion for all in the district and not just for SELF (Top priority winning an AWARD).How soon can this happen? He is in control and at the same time losing control. NEXT!

Hard to find Qualified People

DISD has opened alternative education to find billingual teachers. They go to Mexico and Puerto Rico (my principal went and had a great time while recruiting). So let's not say that there aren't any qualified people.

The district can find billingual people and pay them better than the rest of us....CUT BILLINGUAL STIPENDS!!!!!!

CUT the Stipend ...END the Extravagant Trips!

I agree CUT the stipend and PUT more efforts into searching locally and within the United States. Ahhhh! This will SAVE LOTS of money... "extravagant" trips to Spanish speaking countries. And knowing the way DISD operates they probably waited until the last minute to book a flight, hotel, etc., and PAID FIRST CLASS rates...I'm sure taxpayers would love to see the receipts! I know I would!

Allen? How about an investigation? I would love to know JUST how MUCH FUN the administrators have with the funds teachers desperately need for their classrooms and are denied!

Let's stir the pot, and keep the money at home and in the hands of U.S citizens for a change with a raise for the dedicated teachers!

Not Truly Bilingual

It's hard to find "bilingual" teachers that are fluent in English. My campus is a prime example of that.

[Ed Note: And which campus might that be? Use the 'Feedback' link on the left and let us know.]

Dual Language Program

It appears to me that with the district's One-Way Dual Language program, the need for Bilingual teachers is going to increase. The program does not allow students to transition into English until they get to the sixth grade. The program requires all the bilingual students currently going into 3rd grade to receive all their instruction in Spanish, except for the 90 minutes of Math instruction that is in English.

If middle schools and high schools are currently struggling to meet NCLB requirements, I wonder what they are going to do when these students get to the sixth grade. Most people think that all students in the Dual Language Program are learning English and Spanish simultaneously, that is the furthest thing from the truth. There are two Dual Language Programs - Two-Way Dual Language program (at only 12 campuses) and One-Way Dual Language Program at all other DISD schools. I am not sure that even the Board of Trustees understand this.

Bilingual Stipends

Someone mentioned qualified. How qualified are some of these teachers that come from outside of America that DISD recruited? How well do they speak, read, and write English? These teachers can work for DISD making almost $50K when it takes the English only speaking teachers almost 10 years to make that amount.

Well, they do speak 2 languages and speaking the native language seems to be DISD's focus. Since these teachers are paid more and are preparing only some to be competitive in the world after they graduate then how about including all students in those bilingual classes. Rotate them. All Dallas schools should have all classrooms integrated providing all students the opportunity to spend part of the day in both classes. Therefore all children would be equal. Then, maybe I can see giving those teachers an additional $4K.

We are suppose be an integrated not separated district and PE or recess doesn't fulfill the integration requirement. Bilingual classrooms are normally filled with one race. Stop the separation and have all kids included. We did that with the Special Ed. students and those Special Ed. teachers didn't get an additional $4K more like $500. Plus, the General Ed. teacher is working harder to meet the needs of those students in addition to the rest of the class since all students are included.

I wonder if DISD stopped the stipend for bilingual teachers or provided less than $1K would the bilingual teachers leave the district. If so, then they weren't in it for the kids, but for the starting salary of $50K. Where is the equality?

Bilingual Stipends

I am a bilingual teacher who is both fluent in English and Spanish. Although is true that it is difficult to find many teachers to fill the bilingual positions, I can attest to the fact that a lot of the teachers that teach bilingual are not 100% Bilingual (the English skills of some of these teachers scare me!)

My point is I agree with the majority of people, and think it is an injustice to pay a $4,000 stipend to some teachers (by the way, in Dallas Bilingual teachers don't even need to be certified to receive the stipend, unlike the rest of the surrounding districts!), while other experienced teachers get nothing. I heard some discussion a few years ago that mentioned an end to the Bilingual stipend once Dallas ISD had filled all of the Bilingual openings, but since Dallas ISD has a great deal of competition from the surrounding districts I don't see how that could ever come to pass.

I strongly agree that teachers should be remunerated for their hard work. And that includes ALL teachers not just the Bilingual ones.

Bilingual?

Okay, when you or I say bilingual, we REALLY mean Spanish/English bilingual. Let us be specific in our jargon. I'm bilingual, but since neither is Spanish...

[Ed Note: Yes, if you're anything other than Hispanic in DISD, you're out of luck as far as "bilingual" is concerned.]

Bilingual Stipends

Bilingual Stipends have been around for many years in districts across the country. If you want it, go take the necessary classes, take the necessary written and oral proficiency tests, file the appropriate paperwork with TEA for certification, and reap the benefits of this extra work. Many teachers have dedicated years to add this certification (or other certifications in areas of shortages) to their teaching credentials. Extra pay for areas of acute shortages is quite common in all professions. So is whining from some personnel lacking the needed skills (and the drive to attain the skill) of the area of shortage.

Extra Work

I concur... I am one of those who has multiple certifications in order to remain marketable. I have put in many hours studying, preping, taking oral and written proficiency exams and plenty of money on classes and test fees. I am currently certified as a bilingual generalist(yes, Spanish);ESL & EC-12 Special Education. My husband is a nurse and gets paid 3 times more than me with the same amount of education... both working on a Master's soon. Perhaps I should switch to administation.