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After Confirming Graduation Will Be Online Only, Dallas ISD Superintendent Looks Ahead

Bill Zeeble
Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa announced this year's graduation will be online only.

Dallas ISD Superintendent Michael Hinojosa said this year’s graduation will be online. He called it his toughest decision of the year — but now he’s taking on an even larger issue.



Hinojosa has confirmed that all of the Dallas school district’s 8,900 seniors will graduate online only.


"This is probably the hardest decision I’ve had to make,” Hinojosa said at a press conference. “This is a culminating activity for these graduating seniors. And then we’re going to have messages from myself. ... I can’t go to 37 graduations but now I can."


Hinojosa said virtual school would continue into the summer for all district programs.


“Students with special needs, they are going to get some support. Bilingual and ESL, newcomers, we’re going to pick them up. ‘Early childhood’ is going to use some technology as well,” Hinojosa said.


As for the fall, Hinojosa said the state will decide whether students attend school in person, online or a combination of both.


His next big project? Making sure all Texas students have access to the internet. Because now, they don’t. He said Dallas ranks worst in the state.


“It’s a social justice issue,” Hinojosa said. “Having broadband isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity. This impacts public education, this actually impacts health — a lot of things can be done through telemedicine if you have the right tools and connections to every household. Employment if you’re unemployed right now, how are you going to apply for a job if you don’t have internet connectivity?” 


Hinojosa said the Texas Education Agency has formed a committee to assure connectivity statewide, and he’ll lead it.  

Bill Zeeble has been a full-time reporter at KERA since 1992, covering everything from medicine to the Mavericks and education to environmental issues.