An amendment to approve the addition of 200 Fort Worth ISD teachers that were hired and/or retained on the payroll at a cost of more than $13 million without the knowledge of the board and raising the district’s budget deficit to $55.5 million, raised more questions than it answered at last night’s board meeting. It was in direct violation of board policy. However, the larger question of how it happened was not answered.
Considerable angst was voiced by President Ray Dickerson about the unexpected hit to the budget before he voted nay. Lecturing the administration, Dickerson said that he no longer trusted the administrators responsible for the oversight. Where, he asked, were those who were supposed to be enforcing board policy such as the chief of administration? There was no answer. Nonetheless the amendment passed by a vote of five to four, with an admonition by Dickerson that now the administrators had better go out and “find the money.”
A former employee who asked for anonymity lays the blame squarely on Tyler Technologies’ software program known as Munis. (It is a component of the package that former superintendent Melody Johnson bought, with the approval of Dickerson and an earlier board, at a cost of more than $6 million and includes the still-problematic Connects program for student accountability as well as the payroll software that failed for half a year and that many employees say is still messing up their paychecks.) Munis is supposed to keep track of all “personnel actions,” that is who is being hired, fired, moved, on leaves of absence and so on, and their salaries. But the former employee said that many of the systems modules were never implemented correctly, that it cannot track personnel electronically as the system’s sellers promised, and that ill-equipped personell don’t know how to fix it. “That is how 200 teachers and $13 million in salaries were unaccounted for. They got lost in a failed electronic tracking system that was sold on the promise that it would bring the district ‘into the 21st Century,’ ” the former employee told Fort Worth Weekly after the meeting.
In other equally contentious business, the board finally approved – again by a five to four vote — a redistricting plan that will redraw the current eight single member districts and create a new one, single-member district 9, designed to strengthen Latino voting districts. It was presented by an attorney on behalf of the Hispanic Council of Tarrant County. The next step is approval by the U. S. Justice Department. On a motion by Trustee Ann Sutherland, the board also voted to extend current members terms by one year in an effort to soften the financial hit incurred by the legislature when it passed a new rule prohibiting county administrators from giving financial help to local entities that hold elections separately from the county.
$13,000,000.00 deficit in two months of operation? Board members, are you still not convinced that INEPT personnel are managing our district? Now somebody is trying to blame the software that storage the data input by humans. Here are some facts:
• $13,000,000.00 deficit and the academic is sinking
• $13,000,000.00 deficit and more personnel hired that probably do not have to do with student performance
• $13,000,000.00 deficit and you have not changed the people who oversaw the processes
• $13,000,000.00 deficit and some of you don’t want to point fingers
• $13,000,000.00 deficit and you do not have a plan of action to improve the academics
Who are the IDIOTS? Now we have a superintendent that has been in a reactive mode. “I promise I will…” “I couldn’t see that coming…” This is the first time I agree with Dickerson’s frustration. It is a SHAME to have well paid personnel to be making mistakes that cost to the taxpayers $13,000,000.00 and there is not sign of academic improvement.
What interim superintendent Dansby is going to do? Is he is going to sit down with his team to find an excuse? Is he is going to fire the people responsible for this disaster? UEA is going to defend this mess by saying that this administration is hiring more personnel to meet the needs of his organization. Who advocate for the children and taxpayers?
Mr. Dansby, your integrity is not questioned, but your lack of courage to address the personnel you are managing is questionable. The same people who brought the district in such mess surround you. We have not seen any changes in personnel. What we have heard is you are going to continue doing what did not work. We thought you had some expertise dealing with $$$$ but this embarrassment is going to be there. Mr. Dansby, the academic is a mess. Have somebody have shared this information with you. Teachers are teaching the curriculum, the curriculum is not meeting the academic needs. Why don’t you announce soon that you would not consider the superintendent job and the Board members start looking for a candidate who do not have any friend or is comprised with any person in the administration? This district needs a leader who cleans the house from top to bottom and have a plan in place to bring confidence on the people who want to work and be creative.
$13,000,000.00 in to months, $26,000,000.00 in four months, $39,000,000.00 in six months in amendments, the district will be in bankruptcy by the end of the school year. What a shame.
Let’s see, first it is reported that CA Reyna is responsible for 200 extra teachers. A theory spoon fed us directly from the blog of an increasingly erratic trustee without analysis. This article is frustratingly mum on that former scenario, but now throws a new theory out. Tyler Technologies and the usual road back to blaming the former Super–yes, that’s it. So, Reyna, months locked in a closet banging on a keyboard connected to faulty technology is responsible?
Five trustees vote for the Rios Gunslinger Map and an extra year in office to boot. We are to believe this was an act of altruism?
President Dickerson needs applause for finally showing some steel dealing with an administration that appeared to be clueless as to where our tax dollars are spent. There were NO answers Tuesday night.
Both of ou are wrong . Dansby as interim has his hands tied and Reyna should have been fired. Any idiot knows that if a vacancy does not exists in position control, why hire a teacher. A district as large as FW has to depend on its system of record Munis/Tyler. But what happened here was that the data has never been right in Munis. Hence the continued errors. Dickerson was such a hypocrite acting like all of the sudden he cares about the money drain to this district. Melody Johnson was responsible and now Mr Dansby Is being blamed for something that he had no control off. As a payroll secretary I know that we are still overpaying teachers, I just received an email from payroll about a teacher that got paid even though she did not work in the summe it does not seem to matter how much money is spent orrecting errors. Seems like this district has plenty of it.