Dallas schools Superintendent Michael Hinojosa apologized to 375 teachers for recent layoffs to help offset an $84 million budget deficit, reports The Dallas Morning News. Critics say that the announcement came too late, and to the wrong audience—a group of business, community, and education leaders at an event sponsored by the Dallas Bar Association.
Hinojosa told the group that he wanted “to apologize to all the teachers that left and the teachers that stayed. Everyone was affected.” Dale Kaiser, president of the NEA-Dallas employees association, said the apology should’ve been delivered directly to the teachers, parents, and students affected by the layoffs. Teachers have criticized Hinojosa for not making a public apology in recent weeks.
“Unfortunately, it’s little solace to us because it’s an afterthought,” said Simone Rodgers, who was laid off last week from Weiss Elementary School after teaching for 13 years in the district. “It’s like stepping on someone’s foot and waiting a week later to say you’re sorry.”
Hinojosa also announced that almost none of the teachers who were laid off were bilingual educators, in an effort to continue serve students with limited English proficiency—now almost 34 percent of the district’s total enrollment. Not having resources for those students would be “academic malpractice,” Hinojosa said.
A version of this news article first appeared in the Web Watch blog.