Hinojosa's Contract Won't Be Extended

Dallas school trustees did not extend the contract of schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa during a 3.5 hour closed door annual performance evaluation, officials said.

Board President Jack Lowe, a strong supporter of Hinojosa's, said the superintendent did not ask for a contract extension and did not receive one, a change from the last two years. Hinojosa's contract ends in 2012.

Trustees would not offer details about the meeting, but Lowe said they expressed their concerns about fixing the financially troubled district's problems and stepping up community outreach, The Dallas Morning News reported Thursday for an online story.

Hinojosa had already received a raise earlier this year when teachers did. His base salary is now $317,444, after he voluntarily took a 5 percent pay cut when the Dallas Independent School District was proposing laying off teachers in the midst of the budget crisis.

A $30 million deficit is forecast for the 2008-09 budget. By laying off hundreds of employees and making other cuts this fall, the district reduced the deficit even more after officials announced finding a massive shortfall in the previous year's budget.

Trustee Carla Ranger, who has often criticized the current administration, said after Thursday's meeting that the superintendent should be held accountable for mismanaging the district. She characterized the meeting as serious but not tense.

Trustee Ron Price had a news conference Wednesday to announce he had "no confidence" in the current administration.

Meanwhile, the Texas Education Agency says it has identified 613 low-rated campuses where students will have the right to transfer out next fall under the state's education choice law.

Dallas edged out Houston as having the most schools on the list of any district. This year's number 52 is still down from last year when 74 Dallas schools were tagged. Houston has 51 on the list this year.

Other districts in the Dallas area with schools on the list were Arlington, Birdville, Cedar Hill, Denton, DeSoto, Fort Worth, Garland, Grand Prairie, Irving, Lake Worth, Lancaster and Mesquite. Fort Worth had 24 schools listed.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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