Dallas County Schools nearly broke

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, September 28, 2004

If the finance department predictions are correct, the Dallas County School System could be broke by the end of this week.

Superintendent Wayne May received approval Monday night from the county school board to apply for a line of credit from Southtrust Bank in order to meet financial obligations in the coming weeks.

May told school board members during their regular meeting at Brantley Elementary School that the school system currently only has around $3,000 in the bank.

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“Hopefully, with the way the bills come in, we may be able to slide through,” May said. “But it does not look that way.”

May also added that if the situation does not improve, the school system could face more budgets cuts and loss of support staff next year.

This financial situation facing Dallas County Schools is nothing new. The school system has been facing debts since the last administration.

May said the school system is facing a $6 million bond warrant due at the end of 2017.

“The Central Office has been approached by the State Department of Education to see if we can consolidate these debts,” May said. “We are shopping around for a firm that can relieve us, hopefully, of not having to go to the bank to borrow more money. We are not sharing any information to the firms so none of them will have an unfair advantage over the others while we find one that can help us.”

The superintendent plans to hold a meeting next week with school board members to discuss finding a firm that could help the school system reduce their debt.

On a lighter note, it was announced during the school board meeting that the Dallas County Vocational School would be changing its name to the Dallas County Career Technical Center.

Vocational School Principal Don Willingham said the name change is due to the stigma attached to students who attend the school.

“There is a belief that they cannot achieve in the other high schools, which is not true,” Willingham said. “We have worked hard to make our welding program an apprentice program. Our healthcare program is very strong.”

Willingham added that he was secured at grant to hold a ceremony to let parents know about the name change and assure them that their children are not “going to become backyard mechanics. They are going to be learning a career.”

Other items on the agenda included:

Approval of a support personnel salary schedule.

Approval of the Superintendent Evaluation.

Authorization of School Board Attorney to research the Minimum Tax Vote.

Next board meeting will take place on Oct.