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Hinojosa Unveils Plans for Stimulus Money

Superintendent Michael Hinojosa

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – Dallas Schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa expects the DISD will receive $104 million dollars over the next 2 years from the Federal stimulus package. He says it'll come with strings attached. KERA's Bill Zeeble has more.

Hinojosa says nearly 2/3rds of the extra dollars will likely be earmarked as Title One money, which helps educate low income students. He expects the rest to fund special education, and says lawmakers are currently writing the rules and regulations.

Michael: Money may be flowing as early as June. So there's going to be a lot of rules that get written in the next 60 to 75 days.

Hinojosa says he'll apply much of the money to his top priority - improving the district's 21 academically unacceptable schools.

Michael: We're going to get 10 times more money, new money, from the federal government than we are from the state. that has never happened. this is a unique opportunity to move forward.

Hinojosa spoke to reporters in a new monthly sit down session. He hopes it'll increase transparency, and help restore public trust and confidence after last fall's layoffs and budget debacle. He says the worst may be over.

Michael: We probably won't need to have to any more reductions in staff.

Hinojosa says the 30 million dollar deficit should be balanced by next year, and says an upcoming announcement will explain how that debt will be retired. He added that new hires, including a new Chief Financial Officer, Budget Director, and Purchasing Agent should help keep the budget in check

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