How Do You Fire The General Superintendent?

Two weeks ago, the most-asked question was: "is it time for him to go?" This week it is: "how do you fire him?"

Perhaps the real question is: "what should the Board do now?"

Good question.

Keep in mind that $64, $84, or $140 million (or whatever it turns out to be--because it's entirely possible that nobody yet knows the real number) is a huge deficit.  It is the largest, by far, in DISD history--likely the largest in State history.

Many wonder how a compentent administrator can justify this as a simple oversight.

So what now?

Right now, the proposal on the table to correct it involves ending the jobs of hundreds of people--impacting their lives and those who depend on them.

To reiterate the central question: "is it appropriate for the chief executive who allowed it to happen, over the course of 3 years, to be the one who should now be calling the shots to correct it?"

A reasonable person might well answer "no" to this question.  Another reasonable person might consider a $64 (or $84 or $140) million dollar deficit, alone, to be good cause to terminate the the employment of the General Superintendent.

So it is, perhaps, apropos to be asking "how?"

Given the magnitude of the crisis, the Board is concerned and rightly so.  Obviously, there is outrage in the public.

Again, a reasonable person might argue that the Board should be on record, weekly, as to where it stands with respect to the General Superintendent's employment.

Given this, perhaps one approach might be for a couple of Board members to place an item on upcoming agendas which reads:

"Direct the General Counsel of the Dallas Independent School District to, within 24 hours, draft, execute and deliver all articles necessary to terminate the contract of the General Superintendent of Schools, for cause, and dismiss him from his position; effective immediately."

Certainly this approach would allow each Board member to express his or her confidence, or a lack of confidence, at each Board meeting.  It would also allow parents, taxpayers, teachers, students and perhaps bloggers an answer to the question: "where do they (Board members) stand?"

Still, from everything we can tell, there seems to be a hesitancy from the Board to take this action.

The biggest question: "if we fire him, who will take his place?"  The District, after all, has been a "revolving door" when it comes to superintendents.


On the other hand, of course, is the nagging question: "can the one who broke it fix it?"

It might also be reasonable to believe that "as long as the chair is occupied, the options are limited.

Put another way, until the Superintendent's office is vacant, the Board may never know what options fully exist to fill it.

Tough decisions, aren't they?

Perhaps a better question is: what would you do?

Take note

Chapter 44 on Fiscal Responsibility of the Texas education code provides a penalty for expenditures in excess of the approved budget when it states as follows:

"ยง 44.052. FAILURE TO COMPLY WITH BUDGET REQUIREMENTS; PENALTY. (a) Any county superintendent approving any expenditure of school funds in excess of the item or items appropriated in the adopted budget or a supplementary or amended budget commits an offense. An offense under this subsection is a Class C misdemeanor.
xxxx xxx
(d) Charges of the violation of this section may be instituted by the proper county or district attorney or by the attorney general." ( Penal Provision)

In addition to his public admissions, on September 10,2008, Dr. Hinojosa in his e mail to DISD employees wrote-

"Dear Dallas ISD Employee:

We are announcing today that the district is facing an estimated $64 million budget deficit as the result of budget errors and underestimated costs for teachers and other instructional personnel. During the 2007- 2008 school year, the district added instructional staff to lower class sizes and implement collaborative planning periods for teachers, and, as anticipated, positive academic gains were made as a result. Unfortunately, the overall costs for these staff additions were underestimated."

So in view of his admissions, how many counts of Class C misdemeanor cases do you think may be filed when he approved staff additions on separate occasions? Will the district attorney or the attorney general take action despite these admissions? If they do take action, will he be removed immediately from office to prevent the tampering of the evidence?

Your guess is as good as mine!

Budget Excess

I think that he was still within the "adopted" budget. But maybe the D.A's office could clarify this.

forward that notice to the TEA

Take the high road and report the violation! Note how this causes your peer group great hardship and that it is a class C violation. It will help! Send the notice to the TEA. They may not have that bit in the file.

My bet~the evidence has been tampered a long time ago.

How to fire Hinojosa...

You tell him his services are no longer needed and with the recent board approval making contracts null and void that his is included. Ask him to sign his little paper and join the other RIF'd employees at the job fair. Maybe he can get a job flipping hamburgers at McDonalds. It's not like anyone's going to hire him in a position that deals with money.

Not completely in agreement

While I agree wholeheartedly that Hinojosa needs to be a goner, I disagree with the belief that no one will hire him. DISD did, even after the Spring, Texas debacle.

Tell us more

REmind those who might not know about his "Spring" board to DISD. Keep nothing back. We love ugly Hiney stories.

Should he go

Until we know for sure how bad thing's are, I say keep him on. He created this monster now let him deal with it. The board still needs to grow a pair, but until they do let the super face the music. It's just a matter of time before the mayor, board and taxpayers say enough. Oh and by the way Mr. Superintendent your relative that worked for disd hvac department that had the dwi and was moved to the admin building mailroom by you. Well guess what, he is out of here.

Question: Will he resign voluntarily?

Will there be a diminution of his separation package if he voluntarily resigns? If so, will he be so thick skinned to wait for the board to terminate him so he can get a better deal but knowing for the time being that he no longer enjoy the trust and confidence of the taxpaying public? I believe that the real term of a superintendent is co- terminus with the broadbased support of the people. Why should you desperately hang on when you are no longer wanted? What would a self respecting public servant do if faced by this moral issue?

how do you....?

I don't know how but the time is now. This is ridiculous and gone on too long and too far. He is the CEO and he must bare the responsibilty. It's just the way it is. I also hope many of us will show up in red on Thursday afternoon. When any teacher goes down, it indirectly affects all of us!

Fire Hinojosa!

How shameful to continue to ask the board to fire the teachers while the board is attempting to find another way. Bottom line is this is public money that was wasted. Your money, my money. He needs to go before he makes more costly mistakes. Remember everyone can be replaced. Besides, Hinojosa should remember he is a public servant.