Dallas ISD Budget Cuts Hundreds of Staff Positions Amid Financial Challenges

The Dallas Independent School District (DISD) approved a $1.9 billion budget on Thursday, which includes significant staff cuts alongside pay raises for teachers. The budget reduction addresses financial strains caused by declining enrollment, stagnant state funding, the end of federal pandemic relief, and inflation.

Superintendent Stephanie Elizalde emphasized the district’s relatively stable financial position compared to other North Texas districts but warned that continued stability hinges on increased state support for public education. Despite strategic financial management, DISD faces a $187 million budget shortfall, which will be covered by the district’s reserves, leaving about $552 million in the fund balance.

The 2024-25 budget includes the elimination of 170 full-time central staff positions, 55 assistant principal roles, and over 600 campus-based positions. These cuts will largely be managed through retirements and natural attrition, with efforts to reassign affected employees to other roles within the district.

Trustee Ben Mackey acknowledged the difficulty of budget cuts, noting the unavoidable negative impact on some individuals. However, he expressed relief that DISD is not facing school closures like other districts.

In an effort to bolster school resources, the budget includes nearly 90 new campus librarian positions and 40 high school counseling roles. Additionally, funding will be sustained for approximately 70 district police positions to comply with a state mandate for armed guards on every campus.

Teacher salaries will see a modest increase, with the minimum salary rising from $61,000 to $62,000, and the minimum hourly wage increasing from $16 to $16.50. These adjustments, which cost the district about $34 million, will bring the average teacher salary to approximately $70,000.

Elizalde acknowledged the insufficiency of the pay raises but stressed that they represent the district’s best effort under current financial constraints without additional state funding.

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