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DISD On Fast Track To Fix Deficit

By Bill Zeeble, KERA reporter

http://stream.publicbroadcasting.net/production/mp3/kera/local-kera-789602.mp3

Dallas, TX – Dallas Superintendent Michael Hinojosa says the school district will implement financial solutions over the next two months to help fix its huge budget deficit. He is getting help from top executives. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more.

Hinojosa and seven senior staff members met behind closed doors with at least half a dozen Dallas business leaders last night. In their third private meeting together, they offered advice on fixing the district's devastating deficit. So far, the Dallas Independent School District has laid off hundreds of employees, including nearly 400 classroom teachers. Hinojosa plans to implement financial controls so massive that unchecked overspending will never happen again.

Hinojosa: By January, we'll be implementing everything. You'll see them come out in next two to three board meetings.

Hinojosa was not specific on the changes, but says they will require different personnel to make sure the solutions work. Phil Ritter is a Texas Instruments Senior Vice President who offered his advice in the private meeting.

Ritter: Financial challenges have been building up a long time. It's not about people brought in a few months ago. There are systemic problems that need to be addressed.

Former banking executive Ron Steinhart, echoing comments by DISD board chair Jack Lowe, says business people have seen the district's financial problems in their own businesses, and know how to fix them. Bill Zeeble KERA news.