Problems involving the conditions of South Oak Cliff High School and budget headlined the June 23 Dallas Independent School District (Dallas ISD) school board meeting.
South Oak Cliff High School conditions are unacceptable
The citizens of the Oak Cliff area expressed their concerns about the safety of their kids being in an unsafe environment.
“We have been fighting hard to get a new school,” said Reverend Horace Bradshaw. “Teachers and students have gotten ill because the ceiling tiles are being removed in the classrooms. We have fire, insects and electrical problems across South Oak Cliff High School. All we want are the basic necessities like a clean and safe classroom.”
Members of the community continuously pleaded with the school board to make improvements to South Oak Cliff High School.
“We are being continually ignored by the school board for our request for a new school in South Oak Cliff, said Rakeem Balogun. We have bathrooms in the school that don’t flush, but some countries like Nigeria have public schools whose bathrooms flush. We need to do something about it.”
One parent compares the condition of South Oak Cliff High School to the country of Haiti.
“Some of the school communities around the Oak Cliff area are just as bad as the communities in Haiti and Haiti is a low developed country”, said Danielle Ayers.
Dallas ISD’s new fiscal budget includes job cuts
If the school board does plan on eventually improving the conditions of South Oak Cliff High School and other campuses, money is required. As a new school year prepares to unfold, Dallas ISD adopted their $1.4 billion fiscal budget for the 2016- 2017 school year, which reflected a cut of approximately $17 million.
Dallas ISD plans on spending $61,902,510 for early childhood education programs and $13,835,640 on early college programs. The next focus is $4,751,200 for their Accelerating Campus Excellence (ACE) program which focuses on their poorest performing schools. Earlier this week, the district announced success of the ACE’s program for their youngest readers. A 30 percent increase for the reading level of the kindergarten through second grade students was an acheived.
However, the news was not all good. According to the district’s Proposed General Fund Budget, payroll costs for this school year was $1,088,989,523. The proposed budget shows $1,126,356,624 for the upcoming 2016- 17 school year. Contracted services were set for a budget expenditure of $235,044,744 during the last school year. This upcoming school year they are proposing a budget of $207,778,724. One approach for saving money was eliminating the 175 permanent sub positions and returning to the plan to hire subs as needed. Also an estimated 50 assistant principal positions will be eliminated.