Thursday, June 23, 2016

6-23-16 Testimony at 2016/17 Dallas ISD Budget Hearing

(See testimony below illustration of Board Constrants below on the 10-22-14 request for $6.4 million. This 10-22-14 testimony is either evidence of incompetence due to statements that enrollment was over 3,500 students higher than it actually was, reflecting ignorance of basic enrollment numbers, or these were simply lies knowingly said by that same staff trying to claim student enrollment above the budget allocation to justify the $6.4 request.)

Title I and other Federal need-based funds must serve the neediest DISD students without these same students suffering an under-allocation of regular funding.  Sadly as you know such supplantation was documented in a 76-page complaint made to the Department of Education a year ago. (See ) Following that complaint there was increasing news coverage of this issue leading to the most complete coverage on June 3, 2015. ( It was 20 days after that news coverage that Mike Miles resigned, an action that obviously involved multiple variables.

Regular funding cannot be taken from high poverty, high need schools so as to fund other needs within DISD. That is against federal law.  If you authorize such supplantation you are legally responsible.  I strongly recommend you ask the supplantation question today about this budget before you approve it so as to be assured by accounting staff that no supplantation is present.  That would help relieve you of legal liability. I am not a lawyer. I have no idea if that is an adequate removal of such liability. Consult your own attorneys.

(Supplantation is still happening as of May 2016 even in multi-year Improvement Required elementary schools that should be having extra resources available to them instead of less.  See .)

On another issue, you have in front of you a copy of slide # 5 that is posted on page 13 of this budget.  It lists the Board of Trustee Constraints. 

I have already addressed your violations of 2 and 5 above and do not have time for 3 and 4.  I will only focus on number 6: “Do not allow the board to be without needed information in a timely manner.”

The failure of the board to meet the legal obligation to have needed information has led to very embarrassing incidents. 

On 10-22-14 it led to a exceptionally confusing board meeting. That confusion is documented sixteen minutes into the video on agenda item 7A1, pulled from the consent agenda by a minority of board members concerned about transparency.  (See video at  Go to 10-22-14 date, click view video.  Go to item 7A1.)

The board is discussing the request for $6.4 million to cover 165 new staff, 137 of which are teachers, allegedly to serve student enrollment above the enrollment budgeted for of 161,521 students. The accounting director at that meeting claimed there were 2,500 students above this budget projection, but said "Don't hold me to that." Trustees continued to ask for details and another staff person went to Data Portal to report that days enrollment number was 160,488, 1,033 BELOW budget that day. The official enrollment that was frozen at the end of October was 160,253 for the official annual count. This was 1,268 students BELOW the budget projection.  

The 10-22-14 Board meeting conversation awkwardly ended after the quiet statement captured on the video that current enrollment was 160,488. The allocation was approved with NONE of the critical inconsistencies pointed out during the meeting due to lack of timely data.  None of the trustees appeared to understand what had just been said!

(Here is the budget page for DISD to allow you to see this and all the past 10 annual budgets:  Here is a blog on this event:

Trustees cannot function without monthly basic data about DISD! They must have monthly data reports on basic data such as current student enrollment!  Nothing affects the following of any 632 page budget more. Trustees must know what is happening!
(Here are some items recommended for such a monthly report:

These 10-22-14 actions continued to haunt the trustees 4 months later in news coverage: and, and