Some Former DISD Teachers Can’t Afford To Return To Work

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Former Dallas ISD teachers, Grace Akbar and Ethel Castaneda celebrated early retirement with a simple dinner at Whole Foods. “It’s just a feeling of delight and utter joy,” said Akbar with a smile.

The two language arts teachers received their final paychecks Monday from the district. Castaneda said she couldn’t be happier. “I had heard from veteran teachers over the years, you’ll know when it’s the right time.”

Nearly 700 fellow teachers, counselors and administrators with Dallas ISD also received their final paychecks. They all opted to leave early as part of an incentive program offered in February to help cut costs in the face of a state budget crisis.

“Every year you say, it can’t get any worse and it does,” said the 65-year-old Akbar. “I feel with the cuts in funding, it’s going to be a very difficult year for teachers.”

Teachers, such as Akbar and Ethel, were paid 15 percent of their salaries, up to $10,000. But now the district could use some of those teachers back to fill 230 positions; about one per school.

“We don’t have an option. We’re going to provide an education for all of these students. We’re going to be ready for them,” said Dallas ISD spokesman, Jon Dahlander.

There is a condition. Dahlander says the teachers must pay back the incentive money before the district will hire them back. “Someone would be absolutely out of their minds to go back under those conditions,” according to Akbar.

Alliance-AFT, which represents a majority of the Dallas ISD teachers, says the incentives were paid in July and many of the teachers have already spent the money. Alliance-AFT President, Rena Honea says teachers would have to come up with thousands of dollars just to return to the classroom.


One Comment

  1. darrell says:

    umm ex-teachers. you saw the money flash in front of your eyes and you couldnt resist. you have made your own bed, now you have to lie in it.
    sad thing is, you should have known better. DISD has made an intelligent decision since 1904.

    1. C.A. says:

      The “teachers” have to lie in it? Did you even read the article? Retiring teachers took the opportunity that was offered to them. It will be students who will have to “lie” in the bed that DISD made by urging experienced teachers retire when they didn’t have enough to fill all the needed positions. Asking retired teachers to pay back their incentive is outrageous. If DISD really needs them to come back, they should take the cost out of the superintendent’s salary.

    2. Gumgy Rules says:


      You sound like an idiot.

      1. darrell says:

        why thankyou gumgy. considering the broad scope and wisdom of your input upon this topic of conversation your brilliance amazes us. we have truely been honored by your willingness to enlighten us.

  2. darrell says:

    i was referring to those teachers who now wished to return to work for DISD not the kids. im of the opinion that the education standards in DISD will not change regardless of who the needed teachers are. nobody forced these teachers to take the seperation plan, many got into line early just to make sure they got theirs. the DISD may need teachers, but it does not have to be those teachers.

  3. ren says:

    If they didn’t take the money, they were going to get cut anyway and then they would have nothing. Older teachers make more because of raises and bonuses, so they are targeted. A kid out of college works more and gets paid less because they are still developing their style. Older teachers have it down and have years of materials already set in stone. In a way, that’s a problem because they don’t change with the times whereas a new teacher is using the latest techniques. A paradox. The school district laid off too many teachers. It’s their fault. Also, maybe they should recruit new college graduates who are eager to work and prove themselves in this economy. There are solutions, but the districts want the easy way out, and that is what led to this problem to begin with.

  4. NiteNurse says:

    Dallas has gotta win the award for being the city run by the most stupid people around. Everyone from city hall, the county, and the school district all have their heads up their rears.

    1. P.B says:

      I like and that is so true. Thanks NiteNurse

    2. darrell says:

      NiteNurse, i know that our opinions often differ and thats ok. however, i am in 100% agreement with you on this one.

  5. If you draw a paycheck from the government school system, thank a taxpayer!!! says:

    What? You don’t like the terms and conditions, being offered to you by an employer? The solution is simple. GO FIND ANOTHER JOB!!! Or better yet, go open your own school, since you seem to think you have so much to offer. Few things in life are more pathetic than an adult that whines and cries about a job that she applied for. No one put a gun to these government goof off’s heads and forced them to go to work in a government school.

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