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DISD Schools To Start 15 Minutes Later

By Bill Zeeble, KERA News

Dallas, TX – When school starts Monday, all Dallas public school campuses will begin 15 minutes later than they did last year. KERA'S Bill Zeeble explains it is partly a money saving move, and a time for teachers to work without getting paid.

Because of state funding cuts, Dallas school officials say they cut what's called collaborative teacher planning time. District spokesperson Jon Dahlander says that's too bad, because the planning paid off.

Dahlander: What we heard is that teachers really got a lot out of that and created a better Esprit de corps if you will among staff at the secondary campuses and helped improve student performance and also helped improve our graduation rate and as well as decrease our dropout rate.

By starting school 15 minutes later, district officials hope teachers will still spend that time on planning. They just won't get paid for it. Teachers are not keen on that approach.

Honea: It was handed down and we learned about it after the fact.

Rena Honea leads the largest teacher group in Dallas, the Alliance/AFT.

Honea: If they're going to ask teachers to give of their time without being paid, that is of great concern, because those people have obligations just like the administrators do.

The DISD's Dahlander says while administrators hope teachers spend that new pre-start time on collaborative planning, they will not be made to. It will be up to them.

Email Bill Zeeble