DISD Teachers Camp Overnight For Retirement Incentive

By Andrea Lucia, CBS 11 News

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Clutching numbers like winning lottery tickets, hundreds of employees with the Dallas Independent School District openly celebrated their approaching retirement on Saturday. “I’m excited, I really am,” Kay Harris said. She has taught reading with the district for the past 33 years. “I’m just bubbling over.”

On Thursday, the district approved a resignation incentive that would give teachers who file for retirement 15 percent of their salaries, up to $10,000. The district is bracing for a deep shortfall – estimates soar near $250 million – when the state passes its budget for the next two fiscal years.

Several hundred DISD employees camped out overnight to make sure that they were in line to receive the resignation bonuses before the designated cash was gone. Many of those district employees said that they were already considering retirement. When the district offered the bonus, it just made their decision much easier. “They throw the carrot at you and so they sort of got me thinking,” said teacher John McCollum.

School administrators opened the auditorium of the district’s headquarters to get people out of the cold. By the end of the day, about 500 teachers had signed up for retirement. “I got here at 12 o’clock last night, and when I got here, my number was 116,” said school counselor Joyce Brookins.

Claudia Rodriguez, the district’s head of human resources, said that each person who agrees to leave their job voluntarily represents one employee “that we don’t have to physically lay off.” Prior to the incentive, the district was looking to let go of about 4,000 employees.

“I’m done,” Harris said. “It’s official. It’s official.”

The resignation bonuses will continue to be offered to DISD employees until March 8, or until the $7 million set aside for the program is gone.


    It is amazing…stupid comments by poor white trash always get posted…

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  • Heidi carrington

    To Whom it May Concern:
    I’m writing do due the crisis in the classroom. I have been following the news on this story, and wondering why don’t the superatends cut there budget to help out, or is that too much to ask. The superatends are not the ones that are teaching our children. It is the teachers, so I ask why not cut their budgets. Another thing, The President of the United States,(he really is no president at all, just a person that has the title) states he cares so much about our childern graduating and wants them all to go to college, the why don’t he help out and give these school districts some money. No, he would rather, cut teachers, put more students in each classroom, and watch the drop out rates go up. Due to more students in the classroom, means less time with each student. More stress on the teachers. Which will lead to the drop out rates. So why not, tap in the rainy day fund, or why not have our so called president help out. Nope, he is too busy, listening to his wife talk about which food is good for him to eat.

    So anyways no, I’m not a teacher, but I have friends that are and I’m just concerned. Also, I’m concered, about our children.

    Also, CBS 11 I would like to thank you for always keeping us posted on everything, not just the crisis in the classrooms but, weather, sports and everything else. Thank you very much for everything

    • Know what your talking about.

      You really don’t have a clue do you. Our president wanted to let the bush tax break for the richest expire so cuts wouldn’t have to be made. The REPUBLICANS refused to let them expire, as for the rainy day fund that is run y governor Rick Perry who doesn’t think teachers jobs are worth using it on.

    • yankeetexan

      Please go back to school and learn how to write and spell. Thank you.

    • StopSlickRick

      This is a great example of how Texas doesn’t provide enough funding to education. People, read Heidi’s words carefully – this is where we’re headed. If this isn’t what you want for your kids and our future, demand better educational funding for schools today. CALL YOUR REPRESENTATIVE.

      Heid, I’ll try to keep this simple and address your concerns:

      1. Superintendents are cutting their budgets. It’s been forced on them to cut up to 25% in some cases because Rick Perry slashed funding for education. Now, I realize you’re likely a Perry supporter (just a feeling!), so I’ll try to break this to you gently. PERRY STOLE FROM SCHOOL CHILDREN. He took away one-third of school funding in 2006 and didn’t replace it. That’s why the schools are having trouble with their budgets.

      2. If, you’re actually suggesting that superintendents cut their salaries, that’s something suggested by many. Superintendents work on contracts approved by school boards. Voters elect board members – if you feeling the superintendent in your district is overpaid, you need to take it up with your board. Frankly, some of these districts pay superintendents the level received by private industry CEOs. The jobs, responsibilities, number of employees, and budgets are very similar, so some might find this acceptable during normal budgetary times. Personally, I think it’s up to each district to make that decision.

      3. Now I realize you’re a Rush/Hannity listener because you’re using their same old tired talking points/”jokes” about Michelle and her fight to educate Americans about childhood obesity, so this next part is going to be hard for you. Here it is … OBAMA HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH THIS SITUATION. Funding education is the responsibility of the state government. PERRY IS IN CHARGE OF THE STATE OF TEXAS (God help us all), so if you have a problem with the educational budget, you can direct it toward him and his teabagging cronies running Austin. Further, since Obama is president of the US and not Texas, he has no control over the rainy day fund. Again, if you want rainy day funds used (and that’s the best suggestions you’ve posted), CONTACT PERRY – HE’S THE ONE THAT IS AGAINST USING THOSE FUNDS.

      Heidi, CBS 11 will be running a special about the educational budget crisis on Monday night. I suggest you watch it and you will probably learn a lot. I also HIGHLY recommend you stop listening to Rush and Hannity, turn off Fox news, and put down Sarah Palin’s book. Best of luck to you.

    • MchaelM

      I isn’t po’. I jes’ be White…an’ dat’ don’t be’s my fawt. I wuz skooled during the
      era of skul busssssing.

    • Emma

      Maybe if Rick Perry would accept the government grants for education or use the ones he has accepted for education, we wouldn’t have this problem. The problem is with the state government and not the national. States are the ones that decide class sizes and don’t provide enough funding for education. Sorry to burst your bubble. Rick Perry is the most responsible for this.

    • SYL


  • Ann1938

    Note to “Smart”: At least Ms. carrington got her point across with her comment. She’s exactly right–the President says he’s “going to Wisconsin to walk the picket lines with the protestors”. How asinine. Oh, wait–he’s a community orgaizer, and that’s what they do. They stir up people and encourage them to protest about how they’re mistreated. I taught for 40 years in Texas public schools, and I never made $50,000 like I heard one Wisconsin teacher whining about. Those people are griping because they are being asked to pay for their health care. Texas teacheers have ALWAYS paid for their own health care. As a retiree, I’m still paying for TRS-Care, and additionally I pay another $315 for a Medicare supplement. That’s a big hit when one only nets $2000 monthly. Gov. Perry is talking about cutting our TRS-Care benefits by 50%, and he hasn’t given Texas retired trachers a cost of living adjustment since he took office in 2001. You don’t see Texas teachers marching in the streets and shutting down the schools. That hurts the children in the long run. Texas teachers will be teaching next year out of textbooks that are at least 12 years old, because there isn’t any money to buy new ones. DISD has buildings that were built in the 1920’s. There are superintendents and other administrators who make over $300,000 a year. The “poor white trash” you smirk at hit the nail on the head. Her grammar and spelling might not be up to your highly educated standards, but she is a concerned parent who spoke up. Who are you, besides a bigot??

    • yankeetexan

      Ann, I am not a bigot, just a person who thinks that education is important. Sadly, Heidi was probably educated here in Texas!!!

    • StopSlickRick

      Ann, $50K is pretty much the going rate for teachers these days in the metroplex. Some districts start brand new teachers make $51K. I don’t know what school district you taught in or when, but that’s the new reality.

      Let me say that I’m not a fan of unions and think they’re pretty much obseolete these days, but as for WI, they have agreed to pay for health care and contribute toward their pension (seems reasonable enough to me). Their stubborn, my-way-or-the-highway governor is the one that is continuing this fight by pressing for them to give up their union rights despite conceeding to his other (again reasonable) requirements. It seems to me he is just trying to make a political thing out of this. So, I think there’s plenty of blame to go around in WI for the reason kids aren’t being educated.

  • Love

    First of all, the President of the US has NO authority to MAKE law. It is CONGRESS that creates laws. CONGRESS, including STATE Government who is hacking away at PUBLIC education and trying to take its money and use it for something else. They are always quick to take away money used for education and quick to support other things, such as more oil drilling. So yes, I believe if DISD has enough money to pay the Superintendent MORE money to keep him on board, then they should take pay cuts to help keep teachers IN the classrooms instead of kicking them OUT. Imean what will be the point of all of these college students and high school kids studying to become teachers if there won’t be any teaching jobs left?

    • StopSlickRick

      The problem with cutting the pay for school teachers is they are contract employees. Districts have asked the state if they can use this as an option rather than reductions in force. The last I heard the state was considering pay cuts and furloughs, etc. but had concerns because it might open them up to law suits since the terms of the contract were being materially changed. The good news, though, is districts are doing everything possible before they RIF – particularly instructional positions.

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