Dallas ISD Cuts To Hit Arts Programs First

Over on the Dallas Morning News’ Opinion Blog, Editor Tod Robberson writes about some of the cuts that may be on the way for Dallas ISD — cutting the orchestra at Eduardo Mata; cutting Booker T. Washington High School’s faculty in half – and wonders why the first programs to go are ones that represent some of the district’s biggest success stories:

What’s amazing about this is that Eduardo Mata is all about music. That’s the one thing this school does really well — by plan. The school, after all, is named after the former conductor of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, who died in a plane crash in 1995. . . .

Then there’s Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. If there is one high school that has put Dallas public schools on the map, it’s Booker T. Its graduates go on to university-level programs at Juilliard, NYU, Columbia, Yale and Pace, to name a few. Dancers go to some of the most prestigious dance companies in New York. This school is a monument to what public education can accomplish.

DISD is talking about cutting the faculty at Booker T. in half. I guess they want to build a different monument — How to take a success story and stomp it to smithereens.

What will be interesting when all this plays out is how many high school football and basketball programs will suffer in the cuts. How many successful coaches will find themselves out on the streets looking for jobs? My guess is, not many. That’s because sports are sacrosanct. Fine arts are highly expendable.


  • Kathleen

    Booker T is just one school. It would be a shame to have it dismantled.
    As a Dallas resident I have been in shock that this school has been in operation this long. I know so many people who live in Denton county and other districts whose children attend Booker T, they just get their name put on a friend’s utility bill. I bet this fraud has compounded over the years across the district has helped – even a wee bit- budgets come up short.
    Booker T as well as other schools should require more proof for residency. Like mortgage papers and lease agreements.
    I bet 30% of the students right now belong at other schools.

  • Karina

    Don’t forget the School for the Talented and Gifted. It’s a fantastic school that might also face tough cuts.

  • Lisa

    I agree with Kathleen….my child is an out of district student who recently who has been placed on Booker T. Washington’s waiting list. My child’s classmate was accepted to the school where the parent put their name on a friends utility bill. My child is hurt and wanted to know why I didn’t do the same. I don’t want to teach my child to manipulate the system to get what you want and my child starts doing this as an adult. They should require more proof of residency. Half of the school is probably out of district.