Math Mistake costs several hundred jobs


CNN reported on Friday (and JD2718 mentioned on Saturday) that the Dallas school system had to lay off some employees after realizing that its budget was just a tad short, where “just a tad” stands for $84,000,000 [more even than the $64 million first reported]. Whoops! According to the CNN news article:

The district laid off 375 teachers and 40 counselors and assistant principals Thursday, and transferred 460 teachers to other schools within the district.

The deficit was caused by a massive miscalculation in the budget, CNN affiliate WFAA-TV reported.

So that got me wondering what possible miscalculation could have led to that kind of error. It turns out that a large part of it was due to underestimating the average salary of the teachers (which runs on the order of $50,000 for elementary school teachers, according to this site). In this September 23 video, Dr. Michael Hinojosa (superintendent of the Dallas Independent School District) stated:

When you take, you underestimate your average teacher’s salary by $3900 and you multiply that over 11,000 teachers, then that creates a huge budget error.

Yes. Yes it does. About 43 million dollars. The rest of the error was apparently due to not following a formula for how many administrative positions to have at each of the 225 DISD campuses, resulting in 1-2 “extra” people at each campus, for a total of 338 extra positions.

Moral: Being close is not always good enough.


One Response to “Math Mistake costs several hundred jobs”

  1. hall monitor Says:

    This story made ! Check it out for all the crazy headlines from our schools.

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