Protesters Put DISD Board President in Hot Seat

Protestors call for superintendent's dismissal

The president of the Dallas school board unexpectedly found himself in the hot seat Saturday morning.

Protesters demonstrated outside of Jack Lowe's house on busy Northwest Highway to demand the resignation of the Dallas Independent School District's embattled superintendent.

"He has said he is not going to resign, so it leaves the board with no options but to terminate him," said Stacy Thomas, of the NAACP.

The demonstrators chanted, "Where did the money go?"

Hundreds of employees were recently laid off because of a surprise $84 million budget shortfall.

"I want to know where that $84 million went," DISD teacher's assistant Karen Llewellyn said. "I'm tired of Michael Hinojosa screwing up."

Carlos Quintanilla, of Accion America, said he wanted to know what happened to the money.

"How do you mismanage $84 million?" Quintanilla asked Lowe.

Lowe said the district did not mismanage the money.

When asked who is responsible for the budget deficit, Lowe said Hinojosa "ultimately" is responsible.

But Lowe said he supports the superintendent and thinks Hinojosa should keep his job "because he's had a tremendous impact on academic achievement."

"I think it would set the district back three years to change leadership," Lowe said.

Lowe said DISD has doubled the number of exemplary schools to 100 while under Hinojosa's leadership.

He also said the district's $84 million budget shortfall and recent teacher layoffs were embarrassing.

"We've made huge progress in academic achievement," Lowe said. "We've had a big blunder in our financial side."

The protesters said they are upset by Lowe's refusal to hold a no-confidence vote on Hinojosa that was request by three board members.

"The meeting needs to happen ASAP," Thomas said. "We need to know where the board stands on the vote of confidence for this superintendent."

But Lowe said he wants to hear from Hinojosa before such a vote.

"We gave Michael some things we wanted done and some timelines we wanted done by," he said. "He's going to respond to us on Thursday."

Lowe said the Board of Trustees has 60 days to hold a vote of no confidence.

Quintanilla said the protesters will demonstrate outside Lowe's home "every Saturday" until they convince him to hold the vote.

"You're going to be here a lot of Saturdays," Lowe responded.

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