Stimulus Funds Expire In June, DISD Terminating Positions

By Steve Pickett, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Catherine Nyantika and about 300 other teachers received word Wednesday that their positions with the Dallas Independent School District were being eliminated after federal stimulus money expires later this year.

“I’m devastated,” said the educator from Chavez Learning Center Wednesday.

Nyantika, a special education teacher, will join 300 other district teachers, aides and specialists who will see their positions disappear in June.

The money used to pay for those positions is gone, and Nyantika said she was completely caught off guard when DISD officials sent her a formal notice.

“I was never told I was being paid under the stimulus money, so this is something I was shocked to find yesterday,” she said.

Dallas ISD received $70 million from the federal government’s 2009 economic stimulus package.

Money received as a part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 paid for special education teachers, instructional coaches, even drug abuse prevention specialists. But notices were issued to 300 workers this week saying the funds have been exhausted.

“Losing this funding will impact your continued employment…including termination,” the letter reads.

School district spokesman Jon Dahlander said recipients of the stimulus funds should have known the money was limited.

“Unfortunately, the funding for these positions is no longer available, and we will have to make due with what we’ve got,” he said.

Nyantika has her masters in special education, and her credentials are in demand in public schools today.

However, other area school districts are also losing stimulus funding, and also dealing with anticipated funding cuts from the state.

Nyantika will keep her position until June. She hopes DISD will find a way to keep her.

“Other districts are laying off people too, so chances are finding a new job isn’t coming soon. So it’s scary. It’s really scary,” she said.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Brian W Price says:

    Why were STIMULUS funds spent for DISD ? I thought the idea of STIMULUS was to CREATE NEW JOBS ! Instead it was used to retain current positions AND pay bills ! Want to save money in DISD, DO AWAY with Multi-million dollar stadiums for HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL. EXTRA CURRICULAR is supposed to be just that, not part of the REGULAR CURRICULUM. Maybe, if they went back to BASICS (you know – Reading – Writing – Arithmetic ) then MORE students who speak ENGLISH would graduate and teachers wouldn’t have to worry about lack of funds for retention of their services !!

  2. Norma Webster says:

    Our children are under educated, our teachers are under paid and now the solution is to cut more educators really? This doesn’t make any sense to me where does all our tax dollars go? Our children are our future we have a responsibility to to our community to provide them with the best education possible.

  3. Maria says:

    Questions for all to ponder:
    1. What happened to the money from the lottery that was earmarked to go towards education. What percentage was geared for education?

    2. Does anyone find it odd that teacher job loss was never mentioned during the Superbowl? The week after it was right back in the news.

    3. Why is the media on all local stations throwing the educational crisi in teacher’s faces? Austin has let us down. The Superintendents are doing everything they can. Its sad, depressing, and very unfortunate.Yet, one local station is haviing a special on the plight of education this weekend, so that we can ponder the issue facing educators over the weekend. How insensitive can you, the media, be? Education IS a calling!

  4. Milton says:

    With the decisions made by DISD and the ignorance of the teachers, I do not feel that they should even be in the education profession. Let’s end this waste of public money and go with a voucher school approach. The managers cannot manage, dna administraotors do not administrate and it seems like the teachers don’t teach either.

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