Kudos to Dallas ISD for trimming its central office staff by 163, freeing up money either for classroom instruction or taxpayers.

According to Texas Education Agency data we reviewed, Dallas ISD previously had 5 percent more staff per student than Houston ISD.   

While we never like to see anyone lose their job, it is necessary sometimes in order for a business or government entity to maximize its efficiency given limited resources.  In this area, it is particularly important that every dollar be used to boost student achievement and it is not clear that more people working in the central office accomplish that.  Interestingly, the Catholic diocese in New York which runs a very high performing Catholic school system about the size of Dallas ISD, has 30 central office while Dallas ISD has thousands.

Unfortunately, some critics including one school board member are up in arms because they don’t like the cutbacks in general and the fact that many of those relieved of their duties are minorities.  Dallas ISD students are 90 percent minority, many of its school board members are minorities, and Superintendent Michael Hinojosa who made the decision is himself Hispanic, so it is difficult to believe racism was at work.

Hopefully, other school districts will review their operations as well and identify ways to direct more resources into the classroom and ensure that they are among the best districts in the state in administrative costs per student before asking taxpayers for more money.