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.